Can ‘blue’ really be the world’s favourite colour?

Top colours

There is a strong chance that if you are reading this then your favourite colour is blue. You’re probably even wearing blue right now.

That’s not surprising as, according to a new YouGov survey, blue is the most popular colour in 10 countries across four continents, including the United States, Britain and even China.

Ok, so not the whole world, but a large slice of it.

That’s interesting for communications professionals because colour is linked to people’s moods and perception. It is an important factor which helps communicators to influence consumer behaviour.

Take a look at the graphic here to see the top colours of the 10 surveyed countries, which also include Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

The poll shows that blue wins even in places like China, where colours like red, yellow and green are normally considered lucky.

Surprisingly, it was most popular with women too, and more so than pink. Men predictably rated blue higher than women did. The colour also won out across all age groups.

Blue cut across separate demographic groups within the countries surveyed. In the US, where respondents were broken down into racial subgroups, blue was preferred by roughly equal numbers of white, black and Hispanic groups.

The second-most popular colour varied between countries, though was always one of three other options: green (second in Thailand, China and the United States), red (in Indonesia, Singapore, Germany and Britain) or purple (in Hong Kong). In Malaysia and Australia red and purple tied for second.

These findings don’t in themselves supersede the conventional wisdom of how colour links to individual and group preferences. The poll doesn’t explain why blue is a favourite colour, or why other colours are also popular, just that they are highly rated.

However, it may help to challenge a number of assumptions and stereotypes, and encourage marketers, for example, to think twice when planning campaigns.

Also see: Could colour psychology improve your communication?

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