From a summary of the book called Drunk Tank Pink by Adam Alter:
DRUNK TANK PINK: A bubblegum-pink color; in the early 1980s, psychologists daubed jail cells with drunk tank pink paint and discovered that the color calmed aggressive prisoners. Soon, enterprising football coaches began painting their visitors’ locker rooms with the same shade, hoping to pacify their opponents. Buses painted their seats pink and discovered that vandalism rates declined; door-to-door charity workers wore pink shirts and their donations rose threefold.
I’m going to pause here for a moment, and just let that information sink in. Feel free to read it again if you like.
Listening to the radio the other day I came across a pre-recorded interview with Adam that, well, blew my mind. I began creating reasons to keep driving for the better part of an hour – just so I could keep listening. Fancy that, the colour pink could sap people of their determination to be violent. Indeed, it would seem it could even lull people into failure. This was somewhat alarming!
Not only did I find the section on colour fascinating, but Adam went on to discuss how even the very words we used could have an effect on how we are perceived. He recalled how in one experiment, a video was presented to a number of participants that showed two cars colliding in an accident. The administrator then told the participant what they had seen, and asked them to recall key details of the video clip. Here\’s where it gets interesting: telling the participants that they had just viewed two cars in a smash (vs an accident, collision etc.) resulted in a marked increase in the participants mis-remembering whether or not there was any broken glass in the video.
Imagine that. Just by using the word smash, the association with broken glass goes up. Now, this correlation may not seem like rocket science to most, but let’s apply it to your marketing. How often do you consider the psychology of your words when creating ad campaigns? What about when prospecting for clients? Anyone who has even the most remote idea about marketing will tell you that split testing is of huge importance, but how many will actually do so for just one word? Maybe it’s time to start.
Apparently, it can make all the difference.