Different colors can create innumerous associations, but only one color has the power to “minimize appeal” and “maximize perceived harm.” Researchers have pinpointed the world’s ugliest color – and it’s been described as ‘dirty,” tar,” and even “death.”
Pantone 448 C, also called “opaque couché,” may appear awful, but this color actually has an important mission to do. Experts selected the green-brown shade in order to discourage smoking. Frankly, one look at this disgusting color will convince you to break your bad smoking habit.Seventeen.
Back in 2012, the Australian government hired the research agency, GfK, to create a new package design for all tobacco products. Instead of the usual marketing goal (to sell as much product as possible), GfK had to do the opposite. Each carton had to look as unappealing as possible.
The project took three months, seven studies and more than 1000 regular smokers. The researchers finally determined the most offensive color to print alongside new graphic health warnings.
Lime green, white, dark gray and mustard were also in the runnings to be a part of the new tobacco packaging. Dark brown, another contender, came in close second, but it’s rich undertones seemed to be too appetizing.
After determining the winning color, the Australian government announced the hue to be an “olive green.” However, after an urgent letter from the Australian Olive Association, the government changed the nickname to “drab dark brown.”
Thanks to this breakthrough, other governments are also adopting the shade. Ireland, the United Kingdom and France recently passed “plain packaging” laws of their own, with mockups featuring the same exact color.
Despite being so ugly, it seems that opaque couché is going to same some serious lives.