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Last post Author Topic: Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality  (Read 7258 times)

Deozaan

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Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality
« on: December 08, 2010, 06:21:34 AM »
Everyone knows that fast food never measures up to the photos of what's advertised, but now we have photographic evidence!

So, I went to some fast food places (I won’t say “restaurants”, just “places”), and picked up burgers/tacos, so I could compare them with the ads. (I love little projects like this…)

I brought the “food” home (different stuff over 3 nights), tossed it into my photography studio, and did some ad-style shoots, with pictures of the official ads on my computer next to me, so I could match the lighting/angles/etc.


This guy is pretty funny, but I have to (and hate to) admit it was a bit "tldr" between the pictures for me. I'll blame my impatience on it being way too late/early and having not slept yet.

« Last Edit: December 08, 2010, 06:23:05 AM by Deozaan »

Renegade

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Re: Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2010, 07:36:13 AM »
That was very cool! A very interesting project indeed.

But unfortunately, it's nothing surprising. Advertising is almost equivalent to dishonesty. It's rather depressing...

I've noticed in Australia that consumer protection against dishonest advertising is even worse than in Canada and the US (and Korea and Malaysia for that matter). From what I've seen anyways, the level of honesty is much lower there.

But, I'm quite sure that there are enough smart-mouthed lawyers out there that can justify it...  >:(

I would love to see some real honesty injected into things.

What's even more shameful is that this kind of thing actually needs to be regulated because people don't have the decency to be honest...

Sigh... No hope...
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

ljbirns

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Re: Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2010, 08:02:44 AM »
Have you looked at dating sites ?  Bet it is pretty much the same.
Lew

cranioscopical

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Re: Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2010, 08:04:10 AM »
Have you looked at dating sites ?  Bet it is pretty much the same.
Flatter than advertised?

tomos

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Re: Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2010, 08:27:59 AM »
Very funny that the advertised McDonald burgers wouldn't actually fit in the box that the burger is served in :D

down at the bottom (in case anyone is feeling generous) I noticed:
Quote
Note: due to this article spreading all over the net, I can’t pay my bandwidth bills. If you have a PayPal account, please channel a couple bucks this way.
then again,
maybe he could get some of the big fast food chains to advertise on the page . . .
Tom

phitsc

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Re: Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2010, 08:56:01 AM »
then again,
maybe he could get some of the big fast food chains to advertise on the page . . .

Or maybe he also accepts lunch coupons ;)

I'm not eating in McDonalds or Burger King very often. But when I do, I'm usually disappointed about what I'm getting because it's so much different to what I see on the pictures.

rgdot

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Re: Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2010, 10:22:07 AM »
Advertising is pretty much by definition 'enhanced' version of the truth, to put it mildly.

I don't eat at fast food places often at all but I am not as anti-fast food as some. The way I see it good food is one you control from start to finish. So even more expensive and non-fast food places are not all that much better. Certainly in terms of using non-hormone meat and amount of calories most places are not good, not just fast food restaurants.

andykeating

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Re: Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2010, 02:33:46 AM »
hey common' these days advertisements are just to attract clients/customers.. ads are fooling the customers every now and then..but you done a great task by bringing this to notice of every forum member.. thanx..

Perry Mowbray

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Re: Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2010, 07:01:10 AM »
In many ways there is a similarity between the photographic talents of fast food advertisers and adjective creators of a la carte menu writers  ;D

...but I agree: how can it be legal? Surely the description of the goods, even if photographic advertising, forms part of the contract of sale? Next time I'm in a FF store (not that often) I think I'll compare and object  :D

Thanks for sharing  :Thmbsup:
« Last Edit: December 09, 2010, 07:13:50 AM by Perry Mowbray »

40hz

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Re: Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2010, 07:15:00 AM »
I'm not eating in McDonalds or Burger King very often. But when I do, I'm usually disappointed about what I'm getting because it's so much different to what I see on the pictures.

Last time I ate something (a BigMac) from a fast food chain was back in the early 80s.

Since then, I'm extremely grateful that I have never once been in a position where I was so hungry that I had to eat something from one of those places.**

If it's a toss-up between eating a Whopper, BigMac or a TacoBell whatever - I'd rather go without.

Same goes for some of what they call "coffee." I'm a coffee addict, no bones about it. But if my only choice is Starbucks, I'll pass every time.

----

**Note: I think it's important to realize some of these places provide a valuable community service despite my low opinion of the food being served.

I recently took a walk with another tech who decided he wanted to go to a MacDonald's not too far from where we were working. I accompanied him to provide 'backup' since this place wasn't located in the best part of the city.

While standing in line, I couldn't help but notice how several of the poorer looking people were paying well below what the cashiers told them was the price for the meals they were getting. Some of these folks were doing little more than dropping a couple of dollars (or in one case, pocket change) for a burger/fry/drink combo.

In every case, the cashiers took what was offered and handed these people their meal, without comment - and with the manager looking on. Obviously this was some sort of a policy they were following.

After my partner ordered, I remarked to the manager that I thought it was a nice thing they were doing for these people. He only shrugged and said: "People gotta eat."

 :)

« Last Edit: December 09, 2010, 07:18:27 AM by 40hz »

tomos

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Re: Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2010, 08:22:22 AM »
In every case, the cashiers took what was offered and handed these people their meal, without comment - and with the manager looking on. Obviously this was some sort of a policy they were following.

After my partner ordered, I remarked to the manager that I thought it was a nice thing they were doing for these people. He only shrugged and said: "People gotta eat."

I doubt very much that's company policy (in fact I'd bet money on it not being) -
MacDonalds is a franchise so I would presume there just happens to be an unusual (and very nice) person running that one!
Tom

40hz

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Re: Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2010, 09:50:54 AM »
@tomos-Actually, according to my GF (who works for the government - and is here to help! :P) quite of few of them do that in the cities around where we are. So unless one guy owns all the area franchises (which well might be the case) there seems to be something more going on. Because, in the end, it comes down to the owner(s) rather than the employees or the managers just being nice.  The discrepancies between sales and the cash drawer will need to be accounted for sooner or later. And if the owner isn't on the same page, all those 'nice' people are going to be seeking new employment.

Maybe "policy" was a bad choice of words on my part. Perhaps "understanding" or "protocol" is a little closer to how it gets handled in practice.
 :)
« Last Edit: December 09, 2010, 10:04:34 AM by 40hz »

MilesAhead

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Re: Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2010, 12:12:40 PM »
The big lie(tm) ain't the food, but the concept that the hot black chick with the ponytail would be working in a burger joint.  "Gimme' $2 and it's all free!"  Baby I'd give you $200 if you wuz on the menu!!

Lashiec

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Re: Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2010, 01:29:05 PM »
Nothing surprising here. Apart from the fact that I'm cheating since it's not the first experiment of this kind I see, for someone like me, who has been eating burgers for years, but never ate in any fast food chain until a few years ago, I'm shocked McDonald's still claims that what they're serving is a "burger". First time I ate one there, even the meat didn't look like what any butcher shop is selling, and the burgers as a whole can't hardly hold a candle to the ones served at the local restaurants.

That said, even if the photo is a lie, it's perfectly possible to have a burger like that. Home-made ones are as, if not, delicious and good-looking as that one. Pretty fast to make as well, and not that expensive either... now I'm hungry for one :D

JavaJones

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Re: Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2010, 11:37:48 PM »
I think it's debatable whether giving poor people even cheaper crap food is a public service, but it's definitely well intentioned, so that's good. :P

I find it very interesting that people have come to simply accept the drastic difference(s) between what they are promised and what is delivered. This happens all the time with marketing, not just with fast food (although it may be particularly bad there since the quality of food is lower, relatively speaking). If you think about it, in a way we're being "lied" to constantly, we live in a society where we're saturated with marketing, with promises that will never be lived up to. But we're all pretty much OK with that. You'd think we'd be freaking out or rioting or *something*... but we just quietly take our crappy burger that looks nothing like the picture, and eat it without a peep. We're numbed I tells ya!

- Oshyan

Deozaan

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Re: Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2010, 01:03:03 AM »
That's because generally, they taste good. And that's all that really matters. :-[


JavaJones

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Re: Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2010, 01:09:55 AM »
I guess that's a matter of, er, taste. Hehe. Most of the fast food I've ever enjoyed has been discontinued or changed over the years (or maybe my taste has changed?).

- Oshyan

Deozaan

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Re: Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2010, 01:14:55 AM »
Right. So if there's an item on the menu that you don't like the taste of, you're not going to order it very often, if at all. Unless you're ordering something for the first time to see if you like it you're probably either going to order something you like or you won't order anything at all.

So if you order something you like, and it tastes good, do you really care what it looks like? Probably to some degree, but not so much as long as it's good.

If you order something you normally like but this time it tastes gross, that's when you're more likely to complain.


JavaJones

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Re: Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2010, 01:19:07 AM »
Fair point. But I personally *am* often disappointed at the disparity between what's depicted and reality. Because even if I know what I like (or think I do), I don't have fast food nearly often enough to keep a proper memory of what it's really like, and I do order based on the menu and pictures. I don't believe that I'll get what's pictured, yet I still have to use the pictures to judge! Not to mention that most fast food places don't list all ingredients (e.g. pickles, mustard, ketchup, onions) that I may not like, so I have to judge by the pictures. :P

I guess what bothers me really is that the picture doesn't just suggest an aesthetic quality, it also *suggests* better product and, hence, beter taste. Thing about the lettuce even in those photos. It looks like good lettuce! What you usually get are a few shreds of iceberg lettude, maybe a pale tomato with a little white/green at its center, etc. The picture suggests it will taste better than it does. Like I said above, I guess if you eat fast food more than I your idea of the reality of what you're getting is a bit more clear. Me I know I'm going to be disappointed, I just don't know how much until I get the thing. ;)

- Oshyan

Deozaan

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Re: Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2010, 01:29:28 AM »
Yeah, I see your viewpoint as well. I'm not saying it should be this way, but let's face it, if people really cared about anything other than the taste (e.g. nutrition or looks), there's no way anybody would eat fast food.

Although I suppose the fact that the food is "fast" and (relatively) "cheap" are also contributing factors to continued patronage. There probably aren't many people who prefer the taste of fast food over a meal in a nice restaurant. But nice restaurants take (relatively) large sums of time and money to frequent.


phitsc

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Re: Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality
« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2010, 07:39:17 AM »
Just remember the story about the guy who developed burgers for McDonalds. Asked what his biggest mistake was he said: when I came up with a burger that tasted better (and was therefore sold better) than the Big Mac. The Big Mac obviously is McDonalds most cost-effective burger (the cost being optimized over all these years).

AndyM

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Re: Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality
« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2010, 10:09:58 AM »
There's a Frank Herbert book called The Santaroga Barrier.  From a review:

"...the story of Gilbert Daesin, a UC Berkley psychologist during a visit to a Northern California community nestled in the fictional Santaroga Valley. Daesin was hired by a conglomerate of businesses to go into the valley and find out why no chain stores survive there; every time one is opened, it died in a very short time for a near total lack of customers. There was something about the Santarogans that made them able to avoid marketing messages, and the corporations wanted to find out what it was and kill it."

IIRC, it was something in the local soil and thus local crops which made locals unable to lie.  The Want Ads were a hoot, since everyone told the truth.

40hz

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Re: Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality
« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2010, 11:45:38 AM »
IIRC, it was something in the local soil and thus local crops which made locals unable to lie.  The Want Ads were a hoot, since everyone told the truth.

Wow! Blast from the past... :Thmbsup:

IIRC it was a mold culture (Jasper) that was being added to all the products made by the Jaspers food co-op, and which was the only brand of food the citizens would consume.

And since it was also psychoactive and addictive, nothing with Jasper in it was ever knowingly given to a non-resident, hence the mystery for outsiders.

(I got a friend that does a homebrew 'double bock' that could be like that if he'd just make enough of it on a regular basis!  ;D)




AndyM

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Re: Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality
« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2010, 12:05:45 PM »
Jaspers, right!  It's coming back.

Would the mold would only grow locally?

I might even have a copy kicking around (if I move the boxes with unfiled books which are stacked in front of the "G-K" shelves).  One way or another, I'll be re-reading this sometime in the next few months...
« Last Edit: December 10, 2010, 12:07:45 PM by AndyM »

AndyM

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Re: Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality
« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2010, 12:24:20 PM »
Back to the advertising issue, it's unrealistic to expect any more or less honesty than what the advertiser believes will sell product.  The system selects for profit, which successful advertising will enhance. 

Unless all or most advertisers agreed to be more honest and accurate, the one's who were would be less successful than the ones who weren't.  It would be unrealistic to expect many advertisers to accept an unnecessary competive disadvantage.

That's not to say that there aren't plenty of principled business people out there who advertise and deal honestly and accurately.  They tend to be smaller and more local.  When I need something I usually buy it from someone like that if I can.

The "best" advertising persuades people to buy things they don't need (that way you sell more product, both to the people that need it and those who don't).  I am fortunately almost immune since I have to work for the money to buy things, and I don't like to work enough to buy things I don't need.