Marketers Bet on Black

      June 04, 2011 09:22

      Black is the new color of choice in marketing, often used to advertise goods that would not normally associated with it. Perhaps taking their cue from "black label" whisky to suggest an upmarket brand, electronics and luxury sedans have long been black, but now the trend is spreading across the spectrum.

      Even toilets, for many years pristine white or a clinical shade of blue or green, are now black and encourage users to go about their business in a leisurely way.

      There are black cosmetics. "We made a cosmetics range using black ingredients because black materials like black pearl and black beans contain a lot of antioxidants and anti-aging substances," the spokesman of a cosmetics firm said. "By introducing black into cosmetics world, where white has been dominant, we were able to appeal to consumers with the quality of the skincare products as well as the color, which gave them a pleasant surprise."

      Even sanitary pads are available in black, which can be useful for women when they wear dark underwear, quelling worries about hampering their silhouette.

      And in the unglamorous world of instant noodles, Nongshim's Shin Ramyeon Black, an upgraded version of the regular product, have become a huge hit since the launch on April 15, though it just changed the wrapping and product name. Despite being nearly double the price of the regular product, the new one has racked up sales of W9 billion (US$1=W1,081) so far.

      In Chi-ho, a professor at the School of Art and Design at Korea University, said, "Using black in items that consumers naturally imagine as white can have a dramatic effect. Consumers sense color before anything else, such as material or texture, so it has big impact on their impression of the product. The strategy has been successful in capturing the eyes of consumers with the modern and sophisticated look the black color creates, as well as surprising consumers with a reversal of the stereotype."

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