What Are Thermochromics?
Easily confused with a reference out of Star Trek, thermocrhomics are actually paints (pigment) that responds to heat.
The word, quite literally menas heat (thermos) colour (chroma).
Anyone who has ever owned a novelty colour changing mug would have experienced thermochromics without evening realising it.
Novelty goods aside there are some genuinely useful applications of thermochromic materials. It just requires some lateral thinking and a firm understanding of your audience and the message want to share with them.
WHY USE THERMOCHROMIC PIGMENTS?
As you should now be aware, thermochromic pigments change colour in response to heat. Or more specifically the pigment responds to both the presence and absence of heat.
The latter can be especially useful if you wanted to monitor, example, a decrease in temperature.
However the applications, with a little imagination can be both impactful and quite charming ranging from retail to manufacturing seeing as temperature fluctuations – particularly in the UK are so common.
Promotions, warnings or simple notices can all be created to appear (or disappear) under specific temperatures.
It’s an opportunity – whether it’s customer facing or meant for internal use – to produce something with a little drama. Something that cuts through the usual deluge of messages we see on any given day.
What we’re interested in is the opportunity for interactivity. Whilst relying on the weather to communicate your message may be a valid approach if you sell ice creams, we’re talking about something a little more strategic.
Thermochromics gives the customer an opportunity to directly interact with something that brings them joy.
Thanks to the age of technology we find ourselves in, your audience is use to interactivity so take advantage of it. Thermochromic surfaces give you the option of engaging your audience without the prohibitive cost of hardware.
Better still, create something beautiful offline that they can share online.
MERGING ONLINE AND OFFLINE
Thanks to the constant march of innovation, technology is getting cheaper and cheaper. Touchscreens, augmented reality and interactive smartscreens are all cropping up in high streets around the world.
We are becoming use to having fun with advertising.
Why not take something that’s always been a bit of a gimmick and embrace it.
Turn a wall into your office or store into thermochromic surface and encourage staff and customers to make hand print art and upload their photos to Facebook and award a prize to the best one.
If it’s easy and fun then your audience will naturally gravitate towards it.
The great thing is that thermochromic pigments aren’t anything new which means you’re dealing with a known commodity. We know how it can be used, on what surfaces and under what temperatures it can be manipulated.
Because of the established science, thermocrhomics are perfect for display advertising as well as interactive stunts.
Ads on bus sidings can ripple and shift in the heat to display two differing message for an event, attraction or a movie. Obviously some clever design would have to play a part but it’s an entirely achievable outcome.
Thermochromics represent a underestimated yet diverse way of changing up your marketing message.