In May 2015 the United Kingdom went to the polls in what was one of the most heated and talked about general elections in recent years.
In past general elections it has mainly been a ‘3 horse race’ between the main parties; Conservative, Labour and the Liberal Democrats. With growing discontentment in Scotland with regards to Westminster controlling affairs north of the border and on the back of the Scottish referendum in 2014 a 4th ‘main’ party emerged, the SNP.
With policies on leaving the European Union and strong views on immigration, the straight talking UKIP party have also grown in popularity in recent years, perhaps due its lack of political correctness, which arguably makes a refreshing change from the traditional political parties of Labour and Conservative who seem to have positioned themselves in central ground whilst managing to abandon their left and right wing roots.
With all these political parties now at loggerheads over policies and trying to win the all-important seats in Westminster, they needed strong branding to distinguish themselves, so how did they all end up with colours representing them and what are the hidden meanings behind the colours?
Every brand needs their own colour, good examples of these are; McDonald’s – the golden arches are instantly recognised world over, Cadbury has become synonymous with the colour purple and Facebook is just as instantly recognised by its logo on a blue background.
Conservative – Blue
Why did the conservatives choose blue:
From the creation of the Conservative party in 1834, they adopted the colours on the Union Jack (red, white and blue) which represents unity and tradition. When the Labour party adopted a similar hue of red they decided to drop the red and white and stick with blue.
What does blue mean in marketing?
The colour blue represents reliability. Confidence, stability, calmness and peace.
What brands use the colour blue?
Facebook, Volkswagen, Gap, Twitter, The National Lottery, Blu-ray, HP, Ford
Labour – Red
Why did the Labour party choose red:
The colour red has been used by left-wing parties in politics since the French Revolution and a plane red flag was the emblem of the Labour party since its formation. The red flag represents the the 1797 mutiny in the River Thames in which several red flags were hoisted up to represent the ‘martyrs blood’ of all the sailors that had been killed.
When new labour came into being in the 90’s the labour party actual dropped the red in favour of purple, which as Gordon Brown said at the time: “Purple represents the colour of passion”.
In recent years Labour have gone back to its roots and adopted the colour once again, this time with the addition of an english rose as it’s emblem.
What does red mean in marketing?
The colour red represents youthfulness, boldness, stability, energy, wealth, assertiveness and courage.
What brands use the colour red?
McDonald’s, KFC, Coca-Cola, HSBC, Virgin, Kellogg’s, Nintendo, Lego, Pinterest, Yoshiba, Canon.
Liberal Democrats– Orange
Why did the Liberal Democrats party choose orange:
The Liberal Democrats was formed after the UK Liberal Party, which was traditionally represented by a yellow hue merged with the Social Democrat Party, which was represented by a red hue. The obvious hue for the then new Liberal Democrats was orange, which still represents the party till this day.
What does orange mean in marketing?
The colour orange represents optimism, freedom, motivation, instinct and warmth.
What brands use the colour orange?
CAT, Penguin, Fanta, Bitly, Amazon, Gulf, Easyjet
SNP – Yellow
Why did the SNP party choose yellow:
Although the obvious colour for the SNP would be blue and white (the colours of the Scottish flag), they were already adopted by the Conservative party.
The colour yellow in politics goes back to at least 1928 when David Lloyd George published a report called: ‘Britain’s Industrial Future’, which is still referred to today.
What does yellow mean in marketing?
The colour yellow represents intellect, friendliness, warmth, happiness and optimism.
What brands use the yellow orange?
Nikon, Shell, McDonald’s, IMDB, Ikea, National Geographic, Livestrong
Why did the UKIP party choose purple:
The colour purple in politics is relatively new and UKIP was the first party to adopt the colour.
What does purple mean in marketing?
The colour purple represents originality, respect, wealth, royalty, magic, vision and wisdom.
What brands use the colour purple?
Cadbury, Yahoo, Milka, Zoopla
Green Party – Green
Why did the Green party choose green:
Green was a pretty obvious colour choice for the Green party, who has environmental concerns at its core. The colour green is actually one of the oldest colours to be used in politics.
What does green mean in marketing?
The colour green represents environment, growth, new beginnings, restoration, balance and peace.
What brands use the colour green?
Land Rover, BP, Android, Starbucks, John Deere, Holiday Inn, The Body Shop