Data-Backed Ways to Think Pink for Your Next Campaign


Feminine, romantic, and nurturing. But, beyond its emotional impact, how does pink affect image performance? AI has the answers.

How does the color pink make you feel? Does it brighten your mood? Does it frustrate you? Throughout history and across cultures, pink has had all sorts of meanings applied to it.

In the modern Western cultural context, it’s perceived as feminine—and can fuel misogynistic backlash. But, our neighbors across the globe view it as a staple of masculine fashion. Clearly, everyone has much to say about the rosy hue.

Feelings aside, specific pink shades and pink objects can massively impact how an image performs with audiences. By studying over eleven years of image data, Shutterstock.AI has determined what pink means from a performance perspective. 

So, let’s look at the billions of data points behind the color. How can this hue impact your bottom line?

Kitten in Tutu
Image via StudioPetPhotos.

Clickable Shades Span the Pink Spectrum

What colors get the most clicks? At any given time, different shades and hues are trending in clickability. When looking at today’s top thirty colors with the highest click-through rates (CTRs), a few shades of pink make the cut.

In fact, pink accounts for 13% of today’s most clickable colors. Four shades stand out above all. 

Magenta is currently the most clickable shade of pink. This intense reddish-purple, or purplish-red, has seen its CTR rise 43% since this time last year. In fact, #C04080 is the ninth most-clickable of all colors in 2021.

There are easy ways to incorporate such a bold color into campaigns, too, by staying on-trend with 2021’s outdoor-focused settings. We suggest including a pop of this particular pink in your ads by embracing photos of flowers or gardens. 

What other pinks are highly clickable, according to the data? Dusty rose, powder pink, and rose red all take top spots among the colors driving the highest click-through rates. 


People Click on Pink Sweets

Satisfy your sweet tooth by featuring pink foods in your photography. With confectioneries, candies, and fresh fruit, pink foods have seen a recent boost in engagement.

When it comes to desserts, AI observed clickability boosts over the last year for a few sweet treats: 

  • Bubblegum’s CTR has risen 70%.
  • Candy’s CTR has risen 100%.
  • Cupcakes have seen their CTR go up 240%.
  • Donuts have seen their CTR rise a whopping 471%.

If your customers crave something a bit more health-conscious, however, don’t fret. Data tells us that the following pink fruits are trending too: 

  • Grapefruit’s CTR is 14% higher than it was this time last year. 
  • Strawberries have seen a 275% CTR boost. 
  • Watermelon is audiences’ favorite pink food, with a 3,147% higher CTR than it had in 2020.

A Pop of Pink Will Beautify an Image

Soft shades of pink, often referred to as millennial pink, have been popular for a few years. Millennials weren’t the first ones to fall for this pink though. It’s been popular for decades on end

Over the last several years, beauty brands have gone all-in on millennial pink packaging and branding. This soft color, when used in the beauty industry, is a lightning rod. It’s cropped up in the very real “pink tax.”

Some beauty brands are even going to great lengths to combat any negative connotations associated with the color. 

Controversy aside—or perhaps, in mind—it’s no surprise that AI has seen the clickability of pink beauty products trend upward. The CTR of images of makeup increased 173% over the last year. Lips, in particular, have seen their CTR go up 100% since this time last year. Even glitter has risen 26% in clickability. 


Picking Patterns

Of course, the popularity of specific patterns can come and go. What’s considered trendy today might be totally out-of-touch tomorrow. Some of 2021’s most clickable patterns can easily incorporate magenta, dusty rose, or powder pink to enhance audience engagement.

When it comes to traditional patterns for textiles, AI observed a couple of examples that will stand out when colored pink. Plaid patterns have seen their CTR increase 100% since this time last year.

Polka dots have seen their CTR increase 129% over the same time period. We suggest that, when featuring these patterns in your creative, embrace one of the top-performing shades of pink to really see clickability rise. 

What about patterns for anything but clothing? If you want to think pink beyond fashion, AI has a couple of suggestions. For example, hearts have seen a 107% rise in clickability since this time last year.

Along with hearts, clouds have seen their clickability rise 112% over the same time period. If you incorporate any of these items in your ad photography, making them pink can really pay off. 


Cover image via This Is Me.



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