The psychology behind the 10:10 in watch advertising photos

May 18, 2022

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

The psychology behind the 10:10 in watch advertising photos

May 18, 2022

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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There are plenty of tips and tricks for making the best out of product photography. Other than gear, lighting, composition, and other photography-related strategies, there are also a lot of psychological tricks involved in taking a photo that will sell the product.

One of these strategies is typical of advertising photos of watches. If you’ve ever noticed that they’re usually set to 10:10 in photos, there’s a good reason behind it. It’s all about psychology, and in this article, we’ll tell you more about it.

Personally, I’ve never paid much attention to the trend. That’s probably because I’m not too much into product photography, and I’m not into watches at all. But after reading a report by Real Clear Science, I realized that, indeed, the hands are most often pointed at 10 and 2. According to the report, the 10:10 time sells more watches! But why’s that?

The psychology behind it is fairly simple: it reminds us of a smile, sparking a better mood when observing the photos.

As Real Clear Science writes, there was even research in 2017, when an international team of researchers explored the theory. In the first experiment, they gave 46 participants sixty photos of various watches set at 10:10, 11:30, or 8:20. The participants were asked about both their emotional response to seeing each picture and their likelihood to buy each watch. “Subjects rated watches set at 10:10 as slightly more pleasurable compared to watches set to the other times,” Real Clear Science writes. “They also said they would be slightly more likely to buy them.”

The second experiment recruited 20 more subjects. Each of them viewed twelve different images in random order, again showing watches set at 10:10, 11:30, or 8:20. This time, the subjects were required to rate how much each setting resembled a picture of a smiling or sad face on a scale of one to ten. As you can probably conclude, subjects said that watches set at 10:10 most closely resembled a smiling face while watches set at 8:20 most closely resembled a sad face.

The result of the experiment was published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology. While there could have been more participants in the study, the result still confirms what marketers have been using for a while now to sell watches. The effect is subtle, but effective. Apparently, it’s also not to be disregarded when trying to take watch photos that will help sell it.

Chatting with some friends of mine, they told me that this is one of the things they, in fact, learned in photography or marketing courses. Have you also known about this trick before? Or, like me, you haven’t paid much attention to it until now?

[via PetaPixel]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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2 responses to “The psychology behind the 10:10 in watch advertising photos”

  1. DougWW Avatar
    DougWW

    Interesting read. When this was covered in a university course I took they also noted that having the hands over lap (ie: noon, 1:06 and such) the viewer was led to believe there was only one hand. Also the 10:10 time slot is “day time” rather than early in morning or late at night, so more comfortable for the viewer.
    The exception is Mickey Mouse watches sell best when set at 6:30.

  2. JD Avatar
    JD

    As a watch collector and seller, I’ve used this method for years. I’ll add that the 10 and 2 configuration places a nice emphasis on the watch brand & logo as well. I often see watches photographed with the stem pulled out to stop the time at 10:10; which kind of makes my eye twitch!