Wednesday, July 30, 2008

As good as red

Anyone who has read Lovemarks: the Future Beyond Brands will know how important color is as an attractor to our senses. It gives Sensuality vivid appeal. Just look at how often we use color to describe our emotional responses from 'seeing red' to being 'green with envy' or 'feeling blue'. Color also shapes much of how we feel about our surroundings and each other. Fashion designers have always understood this and now, according to an article sent to me by one of you, sports people need to take note too.

I’d like to say this is new news but in fact the research dates back to 2005. That was when a couple of UK biologists demonstrated that sports people wearing red jerseys were treated better by referees. To get their results, they invited a roomful of refs to score a series of martial arts rounds with half the competitors wearing blue and half wearing red. They then changed the color each competitor was wearing digitally and got the refs to score the rounds again. The result? The competitors wearing red did consistently better. In fact, those wearing red scored up to 13 percent more, even when their performances were exactly the same. I’m not sure what sport can do with this information even though a 13 percent difference in scores is not to be taken lightly. It’s sure not going to make sense for every team in the world in every sport to vie to wear a different shade of red, but there is a cool counterexample. In New Zealand our great rugby team has won game after game, year after year, wearing no color at all. Just Black.