Friday, August 13, 2004

Most clocks have happy hands

If you have some time to kill, here's a challenge: find a commercial image (ad) of a watch without "happy hands" (the hands set at the 10 and 2 o'clock positions).
My college was known for its commercial photographers. Commercial photographers (advertising photographers) use large-format view cameras to make everything beautiful and create a want, need or desire from the public. As a result, I learned some strange techniques commercial photographers use. One is "happy hands."

Someone apparently studied the hands of the watch as they apply to customer response and willingness to purchase the product. As a result, people think more positively about a watch with its hands set to the 10 and 2 o’clock positions.

These positions were determined to make the watch look "happy." Consequently, a watch with hands set at the 7 and 5 o’clock positions are "sad."

However, this idea is so deeply ingrained into the commercial psyche now as to preclude logical alternatives. I have seen digital alarm clocks set to show the time 10:10 p.m. – the "happy hands" time - although digital clocks don’t have hands. I have also seen watches advertised upside down (making the happy hands suddenly sad).

So as y'all cruise the Net, product catalogues or favorite publications, see if there is a watch ad without "happy hands."

Enough for now,

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