Epitome of bold and edgy: Why Circles.Life banks on neon shades for its social posts

Creating out of the box ideas, connecting with consumers, and being purposeful in use of ad spaces are some ways that brands have used to effectively reach their target audience. Another way to cut through the online clutter is by using bright neon colours. Circles.Life, the telco known for being fun and cheeky, is now banking on new shades of  neon pink, cyan, purple and striking royal blue to capture the attention of consumers on Facebook and Instagram.

In a statement to Marketing, Pearlyn Yeo, Circles.Life’s design manager explained that the original set of colours - blue, purple and green - were already present when it first launched and that helped set the brand's personality from then on. Last year, the telco decided to give the colours an uplift to further emphasise the brand's boldness. 

According to her, the neon colours show the innovative spirit that the telco advocates for, and the bright colours are a representation of the boldness and edginess that the telco looks to bring to the table. Yeo added that the brand aims to bring distinction and differentiation to further emphasise its core attributes. 

While the brand typically chooses to take a bold stance with an “extreme spectrum" of colours, it also makes sure to do it with a balance of other shades to ensure readability and visibility of the key message of each visual. As customers mainly identify the telco through its logo first, followed by the primary blue that is used across the board in its branding initiatives, Yeo said the main colours of blue, purple and green will continue to form the core of its brand logo. 

“While we can always go back to theoretical explanations of our primary colors where colours green can represent growth, purple with magic and blue with trust, these main colours will continue to form the core of our brand logo. Ensuring the consistent use of the colours, allows us to tie back strongly to Circles.Life's brand identity,” she explained.

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Circles.Life is not the only brand to use neon colours in its marketing. Ride hailing company, Gojek, for example, is also incorporating neon colours into its ads. Zayn Khan, Dragon Rouge's CEO of Southeast Asia told Marketing that the use of bright colours is however a norm for brands to cut through and stand out from competitors.

"In a competitive landscape [such a telco industry, bright colours] are also well suited to screens – mobile and desktop – as it appears vivid and really pops out," Khan added, explaining that this particularly is striking when scrolling through Instagram and Facebook. He added:

Circles.Life follows a maverick personality, its tone of voice and communicate is witty and mischievous and the idea is to provoke and create conversations to build awareness. 

At the end of the day, colours reinforce brand personality and for Circles.Life, it is one that is vibrant and optimistic. "When you are a new brand in a competitive space like telco, you have to behave like a challenger brand. As a fairly new brand, they have limited media budgets and they have to be bright and provocative, and it is quite normal in a category that is commoditising," he explained.

Echoing a similar stance on behaving like a challenger brand was Graham Hitchmough, regional chief operations officer at Bonsey Design. He said that the next generation brands adopt more daring palettes to drive home their non-establishment credentials, appeal to younger consumers and maximise the impact of their generally inferior media budgets.

This is also because the established telco players have long aligned themselves with a strong primary brand colour, with the likes of red and green. “To accentuate this challenger status, these [newer] brands tend to select brand colours which emphasise their differentiation and underlying appeal to audiences more inclined to explore alternative providers,” he said.

According to Hitchmough, every brand’s choice of colours is a combination of strategy and expediency in equal measure.

“There have been several studies on the semiotics of colour and how these can be utilised to help a brand affect the desired tone and persona. Such insights frequently contribute to the identity design process, but they must be balanced with more prosaic considerations such as the prevailing colour used by competitor brand or the preferences of the brand-owners,” he explained.