Admit it, some of those commercials for burgers, tacos, and whatnot at fast food chains make your mouth water. When you go McDonald’s or Taco Bell or Pizza Hut, the actual product you get looks much smaller, less vivid and unappetizing. But you’re already there and the smell of the food kicks in to entice you to buy and eat every last morsel.
So why does the food look so much better in the commercials compared to real life?
Enter food stylists and Photoshop experts, whose job is to make the food look at it’s best. A McDonald’s PR person posted an instructive video on YouTube, which describes a full day photos hoot, with tens of buns and burgers, just to capture one Big Mac correctly.
The most perfect bun is chosen. A beef patty is given some tender loving care it would never see in a real time franchise setting. And the most visually appealing lettuce and pickles are selected. The cheese is gently melted and the ketchup and mayo are applied more carefully than makeup to a supermodel before a shoot.
Top camera equipment is used with lighting from 5 different sources, and hundreds of pictures are taken from multiple angles. Tens of video sequences are shot as well.
And then the Photoshop ninjas come in, removing any tiny blemish, adjusting hues and shades. The end result is no less than a work of art. More details at So Bad So Good.
This is no different than any other products big companies want to sell us, whether cars, clothes, or household appliances. But because food is so malleable, there is a huge difference between the advertised version and the real thing.
Do you feel cheated by these advertising techniques?