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Drug Companies Use Colors to Enhance Your Perception of Effectiveness

By Sarah Wilson    1/2/13

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Yes, big business has found plenty of ways to manipulate you into doing the things they want you to do, and if you open your eyes wide enough – you will find that companies often incorporate psychological know-how into their marketing strategies. This type of subtle mind control can trigger your subconscious and send you in the direction that big business industries would like you to go. Drug companies have successfully tapped into this form of manipulation, which includes the color of your pills.

Colors have an uncanny way of persuading you to feel a certain way. Red is associated with passion and love. Green often represents the environment. It has been proven that warm colors, such as yellow, orange, and red put people in a better mood to eat, which is why McDonald's has the golden arches, Wendy's uses a red-themed logo, and Burger King incorporates orange and red into their logo.  

It's also been proven that the color blue has a calming, relaxing effect on people. Drug companies recognize this influential tool of communication, and take advantage of it to influence your mood, promote a physiological response, and move people to react. This is why you will see a common thread between products, such as Unisom, Vicks Nyquil Cold & Flu, Sominex, and Restoril.

According to science, the color of a pill can sometimes trick you into thinking that it works.

It's not by accident that the packaging and capsules for cold medications and sleeping pills come in some sort of shade of blue. Research has proven that the color of a pill makes a difference in just how well it works. One study pointed out that patients given the same sedative in different colors produced different results. Patients taking the blue pill fell asleep 30 minutes faster than patients taking an orange pill. Blue-pill takers also slept 30 minutes longer. Drug companies know that how people perceive the effectiveness of a product will play a role in its actual effectiveness.

Color figures in significantly when it comes to the things we eat, and we've been trained to associate the color blue with sleep. Another color trick used to lure consumers include using the colors brown and red pills (especially darker shades) to signify a higher potency, which is why heart medications are typically made in these colors.

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Another example of pill color significance is shown in how it figures into the plot of the movie 'Matrix" featuring Keanu Reeves. In one scene, the main character Neo must choose between taking a red pill or a blue pill. The red pill will awaken Neo in the real world, while the blue pill will place him asleep in the false world within the Matrix. Once again, the blue pill signifies the act of falling asleep. However, Neo chooses the red pill and experiences the true meaning behind the Matrix.
 
Interestingly, some have pointed out that this same scene in the Matrix also has a link to Freemasonry. Choosing the red pill is thought to symbolize choosing the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, while the blue pill is believed to represent the York Rite of Freemasonry.

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