Colours are playing kalokalo with your brain – Emeka Nwolisa

Colours are  playing kalokalo with your brain – Emeka Nwolisa



Remember the Ebami eda…..the man who had death in his pocket. The unforgettable creator of Afrobeat. Yes! Fela. Do you also remember the hit song Zombie which  was released in 1976?


That song created plenty of wahala then but trust Fela and his knack for blunt satire.  Truth is that a lot of us are present day Zombies controlled by brand managers. They have been playing kalokalo with our brains since 19 kiridim. You ask how?


Ok oh. Let’s explore the psychology of colours and how brand managers have been controlling us.



ALSO READ: Go and check your eyes o! – Emeka Nwolisa


Colours are playing kalokalo with your brain - Emeka Nwolisa



Humans beings are visual creatures and colours play a big  influence on how we shop and what we buy. Motivational speakers would often instruct their listeners to think in colours.


Colours are powerful.


They  speak a language that  is communicated quicker to our brain than words or shapes as they work directly on our feelings and emotions. They have  the power to trigger feelings and thoughts, whether positive or negative.


Brand managers, knowing these, have greatly used colours to influence our attitude to products and services we buy or seek. Rather surprisingly , colour can often be the sole reason someone purchases a product.


Think about fast food outlets or chains.


ALSO READ: No play Kalokalo with your pikin life… – Emeka Nwolisa


You probably would have noticed that the logo of most of them commonly have a dominance of red and yellow colours. You think that is just happenstance? No way!


The  positive psychology qualities of red and yellow are exploited here. Red stimulates appetite and hunger. It also  attracts attention while yellow triggers the feelings of happiness and friendliness. So when one sees red combined with yellow and orange, chances of becoming passionately hungry is high.


Ever seen a fast food centre with blue as the dominant colour on its logo? Not very likely. Blue will not induce the feeling of  hunger. It is actually used in weight loss programs as an appetite suppressant.


The red /yellow combination is so potent. On a trip if the bus stops at a collection of eateries, the one painted in these colours attracts pleasurable attention and possible patronage. When you combine red and yellow it’s about speed and  quickness. The urge to go in is in over drive. Stores also use these colours to create a sense of anxiety that can draw in impulsive buyers and window shoppers. Red truly is associated with emotion and passion.


Ok think about noodles? What are the dominant colours on the pack of most top selling brands? Yellow and Red. You see the kalokalo they are playing with your brain.


ALSO READ: Your Phone And Your Eyes -Emeka Nwolisa


Yellow is also the most visible colour in daylight. This is why products that are packaged in it get attention even from a far distance.


Yellow – attracts attention and is noticed quickly in peripheral vision, faster than any other color. Our  peripheral vision  detects  yellow about 1.24 times faster than any other colour. Now you understand why the yellow colour of Lagos Danfo buses stand out. This is the case even among the sea of  vehicles competing for attention on the road.


So, to all the brand managers who have been playing kalokalo with our brain…..Twaaale for una!




Lilian Osigwe

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer.
Lilian Osigwe

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