Watches and Scales: Subliminal Advertising?

If you look at any marketing shot of a Timex watch (and most other brands of watches), and it is an analog watch (as opposed to digital), you will see that it is 10 minutes past 10.  And usually the second hand, if present, will be pointing roughly towards the 7.

The theory is that the hands in that configuration are pleasingly symmetrical and evocative of someone opening their arms as if to embrace you.  Also, I heard one Timex exec say once, “it frames our name nicely.”  The second hand is down where it is just to keep out of the way.

I bring this up, because when I was googling for an image of a scale for yesterday’s post, I noticed that the vast majority of digital scale publicity shots had weights displayed somewhere in the 120s.  Even shots of scales showing kilograms had weights displayed of around 56 kg (which equals 123.2 lbs).

The first weird thing about this is that not a single marketing shot for a scale had a person standing on it, so the readings should  have all been zero.  But we understand that the photographer wants to show that the numbers actually work and what they look like, so they put something on the display.  But why so consistently that specific weight range?

I think I know.  I just googled the average weight for an adult American woman.  Depending on the source, it’s around 150 pounds.  People who are shopping for scales are probably looking to lose weight.  20 – 30 pounds seems like a attainable weight loss goal.  So the photos are subconsciously saying to the purchaser, “Buy me and you will one day see this number when you look down between your feet, because you’re seeing it NOW!”

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One Response to “Watches and Scales: Subliminal Advertising?”


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