Why do McDonald's burgers look different from their ads? - Quincy Herald-Whig | Illinois & Missouri News, Sports

Why do McDonald's burgers look different from their advertisements?

Updated: June 20, 2012 10:23 AM EDT
A typical burger made in the fast food joint is made, well, fast, while the model takes much longer to perfect. (Image courtesy of Digital Trends) A typical burger made in the fast food joint is made, well, fast, while the model takes much longer to perfect. (Image courtesy of Digital Trends)


By Natt Garun
Provided by

In an interesting marketing campaign, a McDonald's representative answers a fan favorite question: Why do their advertisements make McDonald's food look better than it actually is? Director of Marketing Hope Bagozzi of McDonald's Canada takes you behind the scenes of an ad photoshoot to show the reasons and differences.

Bagozzi starts by visiting a local McD chain to order a Quarter Pounder to illustrate what customers are used to seeing: a hamburger that's generally flatter and pressed together than what you'd find in an ad. She then heads over to the photoshoot studio where a "food stylist" preps today's model. The crew explains that a typical burger made in the fast food joint is made, well, fast, while the model takes much longer to perfect. However, all the ingredients, such as the bun, patty, mustard, ketchup, pickles, and onions remain the same.

During the shoot, the burger is also not pre-stacked. Instead, the crew stacks each piece one by one, slightly reclining each layer back as they head toward the top. On a side angle, you can see how the top bun is mostly pushed back (and even held up by another piece of bread). According to McDonald's, this is to show every ingredient a customer should expect to get when they buy the product. In reality, everything is stacked on top of each other so you can't necessarily tell there are onions and pickles in between. After the photoshoot, the selected picture is then retouched to look even more enticing by saturating the colors and removing cracks in the burger buns.

Since the burgers generally come in a paper box when you order them, Bagozzi also says that a steam effect deflates the initial volume of the buns, making the real product look squashed. It's a smart campaign and rationale by McDonald's to address a popular fan question, which simplifies that advertisements and product deliveries have different purposes. Jason Kottke of Kottke.org explains it best: "[T]he burger at the restaurant is optimized for eating and the photo burger is optimized for looking delicious."

We're thankful at least the ads use the same ingredients instead of replacing them with shoe polish and hairspray to bring life to a sloppy piece of burger. Or do they? Watch the video of Bagozzi answering the infamous fan question below and tell us what you think.

In Case You Missed It:

- How about a frozen beer foam to go with that pint?
- Burritobot asks: Would you eat a burrito made by a 3D printer?
- Networked clothes hangers show how much an outfit is Facebook Liked
- Social media sites redesigned as sneakers are surprisingly fashionable

This article was originally posted on Digital Trends
Content provided by
INFORMATIONAL DISCLAIMER The information contained on or provided through this site is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional financial or accounting advice. Always seek the advice of your accountant or other qualified personal finance advisor for answers to any related questions you may have. Use of this site and any information contained on or provided through this site is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
  • Local HeadlinesLocal HeadlinesMore>>

  • Volunteers respond to report of theft to build new wheelchair ramp for veteran

    Volunteers respond to report of theft to build new wheelchair ramp for veteran

    Monday, October 20 2014 12:58 AM EDT2014-10-20 04:58:50 GMT
    Roger Rupp was incredulous when he learned his wheelchair ramp had been taken from his home two weeks ago. Rupp, a U.S. Army veteran, has multiple sclerosis. The 10-foot by 3-foot aluminum ramp helped him access a garage at the rear of his 11th Street house -- or at least it did. Quincy Police say the ramp and two handrails were swiped sometime between Oct. 5 and 6. "I really couldn't believe it," Rupp said. Neither could a group of local volunteers. After hearing about the ramp's ...
    Roger Rupp was incredulous when he learned his wheelchair ramp had been taken from his home two weeks ago. Rupp, a U.S. Army veteran, has multiple sclerosis. The 10-foot by 3-foot aluminum ramp helped him access a garage at the rear of his 11th Street house -- or at least it did. Quincy Police say the ramp and two handrails were swiped sometime between Oct. 5 and 6. "I really couldn't believe it," Rupp said. Neither could a group of local volunteers. After hearing about the ramp's ...
  • Auditor says Quincy School District's financial profile score worse than last year

    Auditor says Quincy School District's financial profile score worse than last year

    Wednesday, October 22 2014 9:49 AM EDT2014-10-22 13:49:14 GMT
    An auditor says the Quincy School District's financial profile score worsened a little in the past year, but the district continues to be in relatively good financial health. Auditor Valerie Flynn told the School...
    An auditor says the Quincy School District's financial profile score worsened a little in the past year, but the district continues to be in relatively good financial health. Auditor Valerie Flynn told the School...
  • Missouri House candidates in 5th District make pitches on economic issues

    Missouri House candidates in 5th District make pitches on economic issues

    Wednesday, October 22 2014 8:53 AM EDT2014-10-22 12:53:55 GMT
    Candidates vying for the Missouri House in the 5th District agree the economy and job creation are among the top issues in Northeast Missouri. Rep. Lindell Shumake, R-Hannibal, is running for his third term in the...
    Candidates vying for the Missouri House in the 5th District agree the economy and job creation are among the top issues in Northeast Missouri. Rep. Lindell Shumake, R-Hannibal, is running for his third term in the...
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Quincy Herald-Whig. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.