Why the Top Brands are Using Red
You may notice that when you drive into a mini mall or walk into a food court, the sheer abundance of red colored branding. As of 2020, some of the top fast food chains are McDonalds, KFC, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Dominos, Wendy’s, and Dairy Queen. Non-food companies like the Virgin Group and Netflix also feature red branding. All of these brands prominently feature red in their logos and advertising. Why is this? What about red makes it so popular for these industries? Create an account today to get the full story, but for now here is a brief overview of the answer.
Red increases blood flow to all parts of the body, including the stomach. When hungry people see the bright red billboard of a Wendy’s restaurant, blood pumps to their stomach and kick starts their appetite. We can also connect the hot red colors to freshly cooked food. The next time you see a commercial for “smoking hot burgers” or “fresh never frozen patties” pay attention to the colors emphasized in the ad. Chances are, it’s going to have lots of reds and warm tones. Red can also generate a sense of security for the viewer. It is a bold and confident color that observers can trust. Going back to love, early exposure to red for children can help create brand loyalty at an early age. Children can in a sense fall in love with a fast-food brand, and chase the high they provide for their whole life.
A fast-food chain that managed to tie in the appetite-inducing and sex appeal of red was Carl's Junior/ Hardees. If we look at the 2006-2017 logos for this restaurant, we can see a bold red outline around their white text, and a bright yellow star. There is also the tag line "charbroiled burgers", highlighting the heat evoked by the red color. An interesting pattern that can be seen is that during that era, Carl's Junior was notorious for its racy ads that featured scantily clad women messily eating burgers. However, in 2020, Carl's Junior has revamped itself. The logo is now much simpler, and now black white, and yellow. The ads are also no longer the smutty peepshows that they once were. In essence, Carl’s Junior abandoned their attempt to sell burgers using sex appeal, and as soon as they did that, they cut red from their logos.
Look also at the Virgin Group. This is a conglomerate containing companies like Virgin Mobil, Virgin Air, and even Virgin Galactic. The company started by Richard Branson and Nik Powell was named because the two men considered themselves virgins in the industry when they starting out. Their logo is simply Virgin, written in a stylized bright red font. The Virgin Group has successfully stuck its logo onto planes, trains, space ships, cruise ships, hotels, and health clubs around the world. The red of the script and the untainted perception of the company's names have no doubt played a role in the successful branding that the company has achieved.
Another company that is making good use of the color red is Netflix. The debut album for Netflix used purple, and looks like something you’d find on an old VHS tape. The film strips cutting the word Netflix in half use a purple to black gradient effect. You look at this logo now, and outdated immediately jumps to mind. In the year 200, they made the switch to the arched sans serif font logo that we would recognize today. The switch was also accompanied by as color shift to red. The effect of this new logo was a more cinematic experience. In 2000, Netflix was still a rather unknown video rental service. As they took over the home streaming industry, their logo evolved too. The full bright red background was a little much for people’s televisions, especially when viewed in a darkened room. Now, they have swapped the color schemes, and color their font red, but use a black background. The red now makes the logo pop out against the dark background. It still does capture the cinematic experience they are trying to emulate, only now in a more refined way.
The full impact of red can’t be summed up here. But, if you create an account today, you can view the entire history and explanation for why red is so compelling. We dive into the physical and emotional effects of the color red, utilizing case studies as well as data from experiments. Learn how you can best use red for your brand by checking out this report today. Also check out our Heart Red QuickQlick™ bags for packages that capture the lively passion of the color red.