Monday, October 3, 2011

Can color be a brand in itself?

Gold. It's part luxury credit card, part wedding ring, and part golden calf. Through out our history gold has been equated with godly purity and used to reward great human achievements. In the well known american economist Thorstien Veblen's book The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899) he described gold as having a "high degree of sensuous beauty," leaving no flexibility for the eye of the beholder. In today's modern stock and commodity heavy economy, gold perpetually reasserts itself as the safe place for investment after any calamity, from 9/11 to the 2008 market crash.

Golds symbolism is still well utilized by todays upper crust. Here the Queen and the Dean of Westminster shake hands at the recent royal wedding, both in shining gold. 

So can this historical love affair with gold be usurped by another? Chase seems to think so. In their recent campaign Chase is challenging golds supremacy with a color commodity of their own: sapphire. 

In the new ads a car-factory style conveyer belt moves a line of products through to be spray painted gold: a tooth brush, a toaster, a pair of glasses, a vacuum; then comes the credit card. 

"If something is simply the color of gold is it really worth more? We don't think so.
Chase sapphire is a card of a different color."

This example of color as brad comes at a time when gold is being associated with seedy BUY GOLD NOW schemes like Gold Line. But will a momentary tarnish on golds reputation help fuel the fire of this campaign? We shall see.

- Emily Eifler, Associate Designer, Colour Studio

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