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Thread: Fast food: ads vs reality page

  1. #1
    Leanne's Avatar
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    Fast food: ads vs reality

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    I came across this randomly, but it is an interesting look at how fast food is advertised. I have heard that food photographers and the people who prep the food for the photos get paid more than photographers shooting models for high end fashion magazines and well known makeup artists. This comparison of how various fast food items are advertised versus what they actually look like in reality when purchased makes me understand why they get paid so much (scroll down a bit to see the photos):

    http://www.geeksaresexy.net/2010/10/...mpaign=scribol

    If they used the actual item as it looks when purchased in the advertisements, their food would never sell. It would probably be banned as "unfit for human consumption".... which it should be anyway.....
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    Loco Moco's Avatar
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    what's really sad is the people in the comments. people are all "oh come on, i've never had a McD's burger that looked that bad" and "this photographer must have gone out of his/her way to find nasty-looking food". ...seriously? we're defending the fast food? come on, people.

  3. #3
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    the fast food i remember eating always looked like the "actual" photos. then again, it has been a VERY long time since i've eaten at fast-food restaurants, even on a once-weekly basis. IIRC, most food photos are actually plastic models, so of course it's not going to be a very accurate comparison.

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    gunn parker's Avatar
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    I don't eat it but I have often wondered why they can get away with advertising a product that looks nothing like the one I get.
    Surely they have to supply what it is they advertise!

  5. #5
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    Photographers have to use the real food for the product being advertised, but not other things around it. They are allowed to manipulate each component to how they see fit though, and start with alot of different "sets" of each piece. They also use alot of tricks to make it look better in the photograph. The only example I can think of at the moment is milk - they have to use milk if they are advertising milk, but it tends to look an odd colour on TV. If they are advertising cereal, they don't actually use milk as milk, they use corn starch in water.

    That article makes me feel ill just looking at it, and I am reasonably sure I've gotten fast food in the past that looks that bad <le barf>

  6. #6
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    ah, interesting.

  7. #7
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    Well, to be fair, it is also about setting and other elements. If someone told me they were going to photograph what I made for dinner I'd be a hell of a lot more careful about how it looks on the plate. I can cook a dish in class and take time with plating, presentation, artisic arrangement of the garnish, side dish, etc and it look awesome. At home I cook the same thing and toss it on a plate. It tastes good but without all the set up.

    Some professional food designer selects two pieces of tomato from 100, a great piece of just bought lettuce, a patty specifically grilled for a photo op - with time taken on that one patty and yeah, it looks great. You get some 17 year old kid pushing out a whopper every 30 seconds and he does not have time to pick out a pristine tomato slice or perfectly align the cheese.

  8. #8
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    In my fast food eating days I came across many examples similar to the actual ones they show. They weren't all that bad, but some definitely were. I worked at McDonalds as a cook in my youth and rarely if ever did the food look as good as the ads even before it was handled and packaged. You might come close with a Big Mac.
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    The professional shots don't even look appetizing to me (just some of the hamburger patties, mmm) - it just looks like contrived and artificial food, and all I can think about is how spongy and gross the buns probably are. Even when I was a kid who loved fast food, I always thought the buns were gross.

    Meat is not supposed to look like chocolate soft-serve ice cream.

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