Got the blues. Mellow yellow. Seeing red. Green with envy. How many headlines have you read capitalizing on color puns? Your favorite publications aside, these associations with your favorite hues are part of the national lexicon—and validly so, research compiled by Real Simple says.

It’s not brand new information that colors easily stir up subconscious feelings, some troubling, others completely pleasant. Savvy retailers bank on this emotional correlation along the spectrum of Roy G. Biv to attract shoppers and encourage the opening of pockets and swiping of credit cards.

You don’t have to be intimately familiar with Pantone’s catalog or a savant to be aware of this color marketing. Next time you’re trawling the mall for a new cocktail dress or workplace wardrobe staples, take notice of the palette in your favorite store or restaurant. Marketing higher-ups have done their job.

A smattering of interesting facts:

  • McDonald’s (hub of those gleaming arches) might be onto something: yellow is known to rev up the appetite.
  • “White as snow” isn’t just a reference to that poor poisoned princess. That purity is used to evoke clean sophistication. Case in point: Apple, not to mention the packaging of 75% of top skincare brands.
  • Fashion industry insiders might rely on ole reliable black to convey what is chic, but runway front-rowers aren’t the only ones who buy into the color’s classiness. It’s a pervasive idea that sophisticated black heightens a product’s upscale factor.
  • Kermit’s beloved tone is the number one shorthand to connote environmentally consciousness. Eco-awareness goes hand-in-hand with the idea of green, even if a product isn’t necessarily environmentally friendly. Do your research.
  • Few colors are as personally divisive as pink, but your taste preferences (‘It’s infantile!’ ‘No, it’s sophisticated!’) have nothing on science. The hue increases relaxation. Retailers have caught on: spending goes up once tension wanes.
  • Purple is often synonymous with visions of royalty (hi there, Crown Royal liquor bags). There’s no proof of Marie Antoinette or Kate Middleton’s affiliation to the tone, but aristocratic associations have proven customers are more willing to fork over a hefty sum for a purple representation of blue bloods.

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