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Colour Prejudice

Researchers have issued a fascinating report on the perception of colour around the world. They conducted online interviews with 13,000 adults in 17 countries. It is written for branding professionals, but some results are just too interesting to be hidden in that industry's closet.

For example, I was amazed to find that in every one of the 17 countries, blue was the favourite colour of most people. I was less surprised to find that twice as many women than men choose purple as their favourite colour. 95% of Canadians associate Canada with "red", while 95% of Brazilians connect Brazil with "green."

The headline-grabbing find was that 20% of the world think of the colour black when they think of the United States.

"France in particular takes a “noir” view, with 34 percent of French respondents seeing the U.S. as black. The French are not alone as 31 percent of Swedes, 29 percent of Brazilians, 27 percent of Russians and 24 percent of Germans all take a dim view of America. This is in strong contrast to American respondents’ vision of themselves - only 4 percent associate their country with black."
Just as interesting to me as the finding, though, is the stated assumption of the researchers that "black" is considered a negative expression ("take a dim view").

October 21, 2004 in Branding / Marketing, Science | Permalink


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