Behind the scenes: McDonalds photography

McDonalds Burger

Why does food always look so much better in the ads or on the pack, than it does in real life ? It’s a question you’ve probably asked yourself a number of times, or if you work in packaging design or advertising you may already be very aware as to the reasons why.

The reason I’m asking this question is this McDonald’s behind the scenes video that has been doing the rounds for the last few weeks. In it we see Hope Bagozzi, the director of marketing for McDonald’s Canada buy a quarter pounder at McDonald’s and finally compare it to a photo of of a professional prepared, photographed and retouched quater pounder.

In short the ad tries to convince us that there isn’t that much difference, but I don’t think people are going to buy into that ethos. A professional photography studio with good lighting, the perfect ingredient selection, all cut, prepared and cooked by professional food stylists, finished off with hours worth of retouching simply doesn’t make for a real photo and trying to convince so is a risky game.

In conclusion I think that this ad speaks volumes about the food industry, todays consumer simply doesn’t expect the picture on the box to be real anymore. In a sense we’ve become desensitized to the tricks of the trade, in so many cases it has become yet another platform to sell us a lie and I think it’s sad to see the worlds biggest fast food chain trying to convince that it’s OK to do so. Still regardless of your opinion the video is an interesting watch and well worth 3 minutes of your time.

3 Comments on "Behind the scenes: McDonalds photography"

  1. Andrea says:

    Hi, I’m not one of the your usual followers. I was only passing by, but I found really interesting the way you to look to this argument. The phrase “todays consumer simply doesn’t expect the picture on the box to be real anymore” tells more than all other words. Totally agreed. Today the “lie” is no more about the product itself but it’s on another level. They take our hand, faking to explain us how the things goes in the backstage, and, I think, a normal customer will take all the information for true without questions. The fake is now true, cause we don’t even need to think about it.

    (Really enjoyed the blog, good the ideas as well as the shape, I hope we will see here next time)

  2. admin says:

    Thanks for your comment Andrea, unfortunately it’s true that people have now come to expect that the image on the outside doesn’t represent the product on the inside, it’s just the world me live in and honestly I wouldn’t know how you could even start to regulate it.

    Anyway Im glad you like the blog, hope to see you here again sometime soon.

Got something to say? Go for it!