Why Redheads are More Common In Advertising

Advertising is an art backed by a lot of science. To make a successful advertisement, you need more than just a funny line, a catchy jingle, or vivid colors to promote the product or service you are selling. A good advertisement starts by understanding people’s perceptions and how they react to different things.

The people displayed in advertisements play a significant role. If you were to buy a car, would you purchase one that is being used by your favorite movie star or just some random person walking down the street?

Over the past few years, people with red hair have increased in advertisements, and it makes one wonder what it is about redheads that makes them so popular in marketing? Are people more convinced by redheads’ messages than by brunettes and blondes?

There are several speculations about why redheaded people are becoming popular in advertisements. Some believe it has to do with the color red, while others believe it is the novelty that attracts. Whatever the reasons may be, let us look at how popular redhead ads are.

Redheads in Advertising

In an attempt to find answers to such speculations, Upstream joined hands with a real-time television monitoring service known as Critical Mention. The research team analyzed 1,709 ads for the peak time slots (8 pm to 11 pm) for five evenings. Their study lasted from the mid of April to the end of June, and they analyzed many channels such as Fox, CBS, ABC, and NBC.

The study revealed that even though redheads comprise only 2% of the global population, they have become increasingly common in advertisements. Almost three out of every ten commercials running during peak hours will have at least one person with red hair. This means that 2% of the population, or a maximum of 6% population in the US, appears in 30% of the advertisements.

The team also counted the number of people shown in advertisements. Out of the 7,122 people in the ads, 761 were redheads. This means that more than eleven percent of the actors were redheads.

Redheaded women were more likely to appear in advertisements than redheaded men. In fact, the ratio was 2:1. Analyzing the data separately for men and women, the study found that 14% of all women in the studied advertisements were redheads, and 7% of all men had red hair.

But for child artists, redheaded boys were more common than girls. 13% of all boys were gingers, as were 9% of all the girls shown in the ads.  

By analyzing all the data, we conclude that you are more likely to see a redhead in an advertisement than meet one in person on the street unless you live next to the Weasly family, that is.

Why Are Redheads More Common in Advertisements?

Experts are still unable to specify why redheads are common in advertisements. There are many explanations, and all of them head in a different direction.

They Are Photogenic

One speculation suggests that the vibrant color of their hair is more camera-friendly than other hues. Digital photography often highlights hues of red, among others. The red hair adds vibrance to the captured scenes and will attract more attention.

They Are Rare

People with red hair are difficult to spot, and rare things have more value. Given that only 2% of the population is redheaded, their novelty is the secret to their attraction. Whenever our brain sees something novel, it switches to exploration mode and wants to know more. Advertisers use this novelty to grasp attention.

However, since these redheaded people and even red hair dye are becoming so common on television, we are skeptical about this explanation. If everyone employs redheaded people to attract attention, the market will probably become saturated, and people with red hair will lose their novelty.

Red is Hot and Attention Grabbing

Some researchers believe that we are conditioned to be attracted to the color red. Red always attracts our attention, whether it is a danger sign, a stop sign, or a warning. The researchers believe that the red color increases heart rate and is often associated with emotions and attraction.

Final Thoughts on Red Hair in Advertising

Redheaded people have become common in advertising and attract more attention than people with other hair colors. If they didn’t, we would not be talking about them, instead of the other 70% of the people in adverts.

Several theories revolve around why red hair has become the talk of the town in television commercials and other forms of advertising. Many believe that we are nurtured to be attracted to the red color, which is why it is seen on danger and stop signs. Others believe red hair is more photogenic and appears more vibrant on the camera. Finally, it can be the novelty of redheaded people that attracts attention.

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