The Meaning of Red

By CRAIG KUNCE

Red is excitable, energetic, arousing, pulsating, fast, passionate, and loving. Red stimulates the human body and makes the heart beat faster, blood pressure rise, and hormone levels elevate (Eiseman, 2000). Red grabs consumers’ attention and wakes the senses. Red stimulates arousal levels and whets the appetite. Red warms people and products. A red cup of soup will seem warmer than a blue cup. This has lead to the success of red and white packaging for Campbell’s soup.

Intense reds are powerful and strong and appeal to men seeking these same attributes. The red “power tie” is popular in men’s business circles, especially when it is contrasted with the respect and authority of a dark blue suit. Red is seen as the sexiest color, as proven by its use in decadently sinful cheesecake packaging for Sara Lee, or used on a deep red, silk negligee. Statistical evidence reveals that red cars get a greater number of speeding tickets (Eiseman, 2000).

Red gets consumers to act. Red packaging grabs a shopper’s attention and instructs them to “choose me.” Casinos have found that people place larger bets and take more risks when the lighting is red. Red lights are most prominent over high-stakes casino games. Red is also an action color when it comes to impulse purchases. It is a popular choice for “click here” or “buy now!” buttons on Web sites (Sutton & Whelan, 2004).