TORONTO - McDonald’s Canada recently published a video that answered a question as old as the Hamburglar himself: "Why does the food in McDonald's advertisements always look better than what I get at the restaurant?"
The answer lies completely in presentation: McDonald’s claims to use identical ingredients in its commercials and eateries, but what takes 30 seconds to put together on Main Street might take hours to present for a photo shoot.
McDonald’s emphasis in “real life” is efficiency: When more customers buy and consume more food at a fast pace, more money results. That means slapping a quarter-pound cheeseburger on a sesame seed bun, sprinkling on a few pickles, onion slices and condiments before moving on to the next order.
But for advertising purposes, McDonald’s food stylists have the luxury of taking hours to assemble one sandwich that looks picture perfect.
A camera can only capture the burger from one vantage point, so all ingredients are moved to the foreground. The slice of American cheese is slowly melted to present a perfect portrait of culinary expertise. The pickles, onion fragments and ketchup are stacked on one side of the bun so anyone viewing the photo will see everything the sandwich has to offer. It also creates a mental image of a juicy burger oozing with all the proper fixings.
But the fun doesn’t end there. A photo editor will touch up the photogenic McDelicacy to make every element look appealing. No major overhauls are made, but simple things such as miniature holes in the bun are camouflaged to present the ideal cheeseburger.
Then there’s the element of heat. A McDonald’s burger is served warm in a box, which causes the bun to condense in size. The specially styled burger appears bigger because it has not been packaged for carryout.
Maybe the food is the same, but presentation makes a big McDifference.
Watch the video below:
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