The Five Senses of Peach Fuzz: Pantone's Color of the Year
I've always thought of peach fuzz as the soft, short hairs surrounding one's upper lip. This year, however, peach fuzz will embody a new, more glamorous meaning as the 2024 Pantone Color of the Year. Each year, the Pantone Color Institute selects one color to represent the upcoming year, setting a chromatic mood board for the year ahead, and this time, it's peachy.
During the virtual Pantone Color of the Year unveiling hosted last month by Laurie Pressman, VP of the Pantone Color Institute, Peach Fuzz 13-1023 was described as warm, vintage, and even delicious.
Pressman walked the attending color enthusiasts through numerous characteristics of the newly announced Pantone color of the year–but with a twist: The annual unveiling used sensory marketing to showcase the ways the color can be used and adored by all. Just like its predecessors, Peach Fuzz demonstrates versatility and sensory appeal across many platforms, including fashion, interior design, consumer goods, beauty trends, culinary arts, and even wedding trends.
Ultimately, it became clear that this year’s chromatic mood board is about being cozy, finding warmth, and comfort. Here’s how the experts at the Pantone Color Institute suggest we do so:
One can decide to lead, as the Pantone website states, a “gratitude-focused yoga flow for a small group, ideally at sunset. Light candles to create ambiance. Set an intention to grow in understanding of self and others. After class, grab a tea or a mocktail and write notes of gratitude to yourself, each other, and the year past,” or maybe even start a book club, possibly taking “time to pick a book that encourages self-reflection … whether alone or in the thoughts of company.”
There are even more ways to experience ‘peach fuzz,’ and as the color unveiling continued, Pressman went through even more methods to connect with the cozy color using all five senses. Peach fuzz can be experienced when biting into a peachy macaroon, or perhaps by smelling peach-colored roses or maybe even by feeling a fuzzy peach-colored sweater. The senses played a key role in the marketing this year’s color, and I have to say that Pantone did an excellent job with this campaign. By the time the unveiling concluded, I wanted to touch, eat, smell, and maybe even sip a peach-colored beverage, food item, clothing piece, or makeup product.
On top of its warm, soft, and vibrant nature, peach fuzz also embodies a highly coveted archetype: the vintage appeal. Everything these days seems to be vintage or look vintage, and Pantone played into this. This color, or one very similar to it, was commonly seen in consumer goods throughout the 50s, 60s, and 70s.
This year, history is repeating itself. Pantone is collaborating with various brands to market products in the "Peach Fuzz" color, a highly sought-after shade. Brands like Motorola, Ruggable, Nike, and Polaroid have joined forces with Pantone to launch merchandise featuring the peachy color.
Through each partnership, the thesis, if you will, of the Pantone Institute’s campaign remains true: “Seemingly tactile, Peach Fuzz welcomes consumers to reach out and touch. Its warm tactility makes it an enticing shade for a variety of products, from food and beverage to cosmetics and accessories. Inspiring thoughts of sweet and delicate tastes and scents, PANTONE 13-1023 Peach Fuzz tempts the taste buds with thoughts of sweet and delicate scents and treats.”
Numerous layers are at play here, and as always, we can take them with a grain of salt. Despite Pantone’s long-standing role as the primary color authority for a little over two decades, it’s important to recognize the underlying marketing strategy. Each year, the color institute markets a color to a consumer-driven society–we’re hungry for the latest trends, the next best thing. And this year, it happens to be cozy peach fuzz.
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