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Whether you're a marketer or a small business owner, you are also a content consumer. So, you may have come across neon colors in video marketing of brands that haven't used neon before. That's because neon is catching on, and video marketers are using it to draw attention to their respective businesses.
In this resource, you will find out what neon colors are, how people feel when they look at specific neon colors, and how you can use neon when marketing your video products. Towards the end, you will find a practical way to use this information for your marketing, no matter what business you are in.
Neon: Colors and Connotations
Neon itself is not a color. Nor is it a strict set of colors. It is more of a combination of color, contrast, and vibrance that creates a very specific effect. Neon colors create a cool and urban atmosphere because of their prominence in nightlife and underground lounges.
But recently, the neon aesthetic has crossed over to the mainstream. So, the meaning associated with neon colors is no longer the same.
Before getting into what associations and emotions neon colors evoke, let’s look at what these colors are. As you will notice, different clusters of neon colors can have different associations.
Primary neon colors include:
That might look like a list of random colors next to the word neon. But that is a very specific set of colors. For a color to have a neon version, it must be bright and saturation-friendly. Colors that are not saturation-friendly quickly change shades with an increase in saturation. By the time they’re bright enough to be “neon,” they’re an entirely different color.
A neon color is a super-bright version of the same color. For instance, neon purple is simply purple that is bright enough to have a “glow”. This glow can create a warm and radiant look with hot colors like yellow and red. But it can also create a cooler look with the likes of pink, purple, and green.
The table below covers the connotations of different neon colors.
|The color is often used in sci-fi films.
|Yellow is associated with sunlight.
|The color is associated with the dollhouse aesthetic.
|Blue is an inherently cool color.
|Neon lime has a “zing” to it.
|This color is used in nightclub decor.
|Red inspires alertness, and neon red looks like an ember.
Neon colors are often used against a black background, which heightens their effect. Against a black backdrop, any bright color looks much brighter. Moreover, the glow of neon colors creates an atmospheric halo that draws attention.
You can use multiple neon colors to create different effects. Below are some neon clusters that you can use in your videos.
Orange-Green-Purple = Industrial Neon
A combination of neon orange, neon green, and neon purple creates an industrial effect. These colors are not industrial in the absence of neon brightness. But something about a neon glow makes this combination look like it belongs in a warehouse.
Remember, these colors are rarely used in actual industrial settings. Farm equipment like tractors are often orange, but green and purple aren't really factory colors. They just have a "factory look".
So, you cannot use this combination to market a factory or an industrial operation. You can use this for brands that are industrial in appearance only.
Use this color combination for:
Warehouse coffee shops - Warehouse cafes and coffee shops leverage a working-class aesthetic. Industrial colors feel right at home in such settings.
“Raw” music videos - If your content aims to communicate grit and strength, then industrial colors might be the perfect choice for your videos.
Beer commercials - Industrial colors can lend a "working class" aesthetic to beer and other beverage brands. But the colors should be in line with the rest of the brand.
Hype-marketing - Hype-marketing is difference-driven. As long as your competitors and category partners aren’t using industrial neon, you can use the Orange-Green-Purple combination to stand out.
Fashion edits - Fashion is all about flipping the status quo. So, use neon colors, especially the industrial cluster, to grab attention and drive conversation.
Pink-Blue = Neue-Femme
A combination of neon pink and neon blue creates a soft and cool effect often referred to as Neue-Femme (new feminine). This is an aesthetic that doesn't completely reject conventional femininity but refuses to be defined by it. It features pink because of its feminine connotations but also includes blue because of its coolness.
Since women make up roughly 50% of the human population, your audience with this color combination is in the billions. It is not niche like industrial neon. You can use neon pink and neon blue for the following.
The neue-femme aesthetic is great for perfume marketing. Women's perfumes are often marketed using romantic cliches and overused colors. This combination is relatively fresh but doesn't completely break from tradition.
Desserts, even if marketed to men, can be branded using neon pink and neon blue. The colors communicate desirability and sweetness.
Pop music is, by definition, a mass-appeal product. And since pink and blue are appealing colors, neon versions of them can be used for pop music videos. But you should be mindful of the artist's brand as well.
Shoes and Sneakers
Neon color sneakers are already quite popular. But most of them use overt boyish colors or industrial neon. So, there is room for neue-femme colors in the neon sneakers market.
Neon pink is most commonly used in decor. Girls who want to celebrate their femininity use flamingo pink and neon pink alongside mute colors and a white background to create a feminine space. Adding neon blue to such spaces can give them a more modern edge without taking away their femininity.
Yellow-Lime-Green = At-Ease Aesthetic
Yellow is a warm color, while green is easiness-inspiring. Adding lime for a little zing creates a very casual-yet-modern look. The at-ease aesthetic created with this neon combination is eye-catching but not super on-the-nose.
A combination of yellow, lime, and green neon colors does not look out of place in pretty much any setting. But there are definitely contexts where it looks more at home. As a video marketer, you can use the at-ease aesthetic as follows.
The at-ease aesthetic is appetizing in the context of food. You can use it for snack commercials and packaging, but make sure to keep the overall brand in mind. If a food brand uses green or yellow colors, like Subway, you can use neon yellow, lime, and green in its video marketing.
The best thing about this specific color combination is that it is just the right kind of eye-catching. It draws attention but without distracting from other elements. So, you can use these colors in the background of your content, no matter what kind of content you make.
You can film with yellow and green LED lights in the background or chroma key a digital background with these colors.
If you make spoken-word content video podcasts, stand-up comedy, etc., you know the power of subtitles. They increase viewer retention and make your content easier to follow. Using neon yellow, green, and lime colors for content labels and captions can make your videos even more engaging.
The color green and technology have a longstanding association. But for many marketers, it is becoming a cliche. If you want to use neon green to market any tech or futuristic-looking product, add yellow and lime to make it look fresh.
Fashion accessories like wristbands, finger rings, and chains can add a pop to one's appearance. And that's especially the case if they're neon colored.
Green and green-adjacent neon colors are already becoming a part of contemporary fashion, so accessories bearing these colors do not look odd. And even if the accessories themselves bear a different color, you can use green-adjacent neon in videos marketing them.
Red-Yellow = Eye Magnet
While yellow is a warm color, its neon version is a little too bright. Add neon red to the mix, and you get an eye-catching combination. Unless your brand is understated and minimalist, you can use neon red and neon yellow for its video marketing. For instance, you can use these colors in any assets announcing a sale.
The colors don’t need to stick around throughout multiple campaigns. They do not need to become a part of your brand. Because of their brightness and glow, they stand out from the rest of your brand colors. In that way, they are disposable.
And that would be any video marketer’s dream. You can use neon red and neon yellow for one-off or recurring campaigns in the following ways.
Previously, we discussed using yellow and red neon in your sale announcement assets. But you can use these colors in pretty much any important announcement. The only time you should not use neon colors in video marketing is when your brand is understated and minimalist.
GIFs and Loops
Social media animations, including GIFs, looped videos, and branded stickers, can all feature neon colors. And using red and yellow, you can make these assets more attention-grabbing. A nightclub could create a social media sticker that reads "Last Night Was A Movie", with the word Movie in neon red.
Or a cafe could create a looped video with a cup of coffee in the forefront and a neon yellow glow in the background. The glow could dim and come back as a neon red glow. This creates a warm yet eye-catching look.
Finally, you can use neon colors to brand a content series to market your business. Vans had a semi-satirical series called "How to do Everything in the World" with provocateur Gavin Mcinnes. Makeup giant Sephora has a Beauty 101 series on its YouTube channel.
And Coca-Cola has multiple versions of "Coke Studio", a from-scratch music-making show. As a video marketer, one of the best things you can do for your brand is to start a content series for it. And neon red and yellow would be the perfect colors to consider for your content's identity. The more distinct it is, the better!
Blue-Purple = Urban Exclusive
Blue is a cool color, and purple is a mysterious one. So, using these in the right combination will help you create a cool and mysterious atmosphere. Of course, this doesn't work if you're marketing a power tools brand.
Blue and Purple is a combination that suits nightclubs, liquor brands, and other businesses associated with post-evening socialization. Daytime brands like all-day breakfast restaurants should stick to sunny colors.
The following are some instances where using blue and purple neon would make sense.
Vape brands use attractive colors to market their products like candy. One way to stand out for a new Vape brand is to avoid the pink, green, and red colors used in most Vape packaging. Instead, by creating a black package and using neon purple and neon blue in its marketing videos, you can corner the mystery position for your new vape brand.
Cool Mint Products
Cool Mint flavored chewing gum can also be marketed using neon blue and neon purple. You can also use these colors for videos promoting menthol shampoo, which feels cold. Any product that produces a cold sensation—even iced coffee—can be marketed with the urban-exclusive neon combination.
Nightlife marketing includes nightclub ads, liquor ads, and other nightclub-adjacent marketing. Colors like black, white, and golden are often used to market nightlife products and services. Other colors are not used often because they don't stand out against a black backdrop.
Neon colors, however, stand out very much. You can use Neon Blue and Neon Purple for videos marketing any nightlife product. The colors don't have to become a part of the brand and can be discarded after a couple of videos.
Video Marketers have the chops to make music videos. Jingles have been a part of marketing and branding long before digital music became a thing. A great way to use neon colors in your marketing without making them a core part of your brand is to make a music video.
Any music video with a dark background can feature this neon combination. It could be a marketing-focused music video or just a standard music video. Either way, the colors can project a cool and attractive aura that you would want for your biggest draw.
This is a very niche content type but one that is the closest to the identity of urban exclusive colors. You can use purple and blue neon to package magic videos. And you might think that’s irrelevant to your brand or clients.
But ultimately, any business can create a sponsored-content series with magic tricks. Hire a magician who can perform tricks using your products, package the content, and give your brand a shot at virality.
How To Use Neon Colors In Your Videos - A Practical Strategy
Throughout the article above, you learned about the different neon colors and color combinations. You also discovered instances where you can use these colors in video marketing. But those are just examples, not a strategy. This section reveals a practical way to incorporate neon into your video marketing, no matter which brand you plan to market.
Identify Your Neon-Friendliness
As a video marketer, your first step should be taking inventory of your own brand. Figure out how neon-friendly it is so you can decide between direct-neon and indirect-neon use. If other businesses in your niche/market use neon colors, then your business is neon-friendly.
And if that is the case, you can use neon colors for your main marketing assets and even your logo! But if neon isn't common in your market, then you have to create in-direct use cases like brand filters or fresh content series with a sub-brand.
Map Out Your Assets
Once you have figured out whether your business is a neon-friendly one or not, you can start auditing your assets. Look at every type of content you create. Long-form videos, short form vertical videos, gifs, etc., are just some of these content types. If your brand is neon-friendly, you can start using neon colors in one or more of these categories. If it is not, then you might have to create a fresh standout series.
Create Content Concepts If Needed
For businesses that are not neon-friendly, creating a fresh series is a great way to use neon colors safely. Sponsored content series are becoming a major wave anyway. From Q and A to podcasts, there are so many content lanes for businesses and individual creators. Launch a content series and give it a distinct brand so you can use neon colors without affecting the main brand. The more different your content series is from your main brand, the less it will look like an ad.
Add Relevant Neon Colors
Whether you create an original series with neon branding or use neon for your main brand, you have to pick the right neon colors. And for that, you have to scroll up and refresh your memory. Only by knowing what each neon color signifies can you pick the right one.
Neon colors are bold and add a visual pop to your videos. But not all neon colors are built alike. And not all brands are equally neon-friendly. Some brands can benefit from using neon colors in their main assets. Others need to be more cautious and use neon in their peripheral, non-primary content. The information above will help you select the right content strategy and neon colors for your brand.