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>>

  • Last in a Series

    Under the Influence: Change in processing offenders helps lead to reduction of DUIs in Adams County

    Under the Influence: Change in processing offenders helps lead to reduction of DUIs in Adams County

    Friday, November 21 2014 11:18 AM EST2014-11-21 16:18:34 GMT
    As the number of drunken driving cases reaching her desk continued to grow, Jennifer Cifaldi decided something needed to be done to stem the tide. Cifaldi, an assistant state's attorney who handles traffic offenses, went to Adams County State's Attorney Jon Barnard. The result was the institution of a DUI search warrant program. Starting in 2008, the county began to get search warrants for those suspected of DUI who refused to submit to a Breathalyzer test.
    As the number of drunken driving cases reaching her desk continued to grow, Jennifer Cifaldi decided something needed to be done to stem the tide. Cifaldi, an assistant state's attorney who handles traffic offenses, went to Adams County State's Attorney Jon Barnard. The result was the institution of a DUI search warrant program. Starting in 2008, the county began to get search warrants for those suspected of DUI who refused to submit to a Breathalyzer test.
  • 'Recovery approach' in treating mental illness paying dividends

    'Recovery approach' in treating mental illness paying dividends

    Saturday, November 22 2014 11:46 PM EST2014-11-23 04:46:39 GMT
    Lemonia "Joy" Sims now has something awaiting her she never thought possible — a future. "Every sad word in the dictionary described me," she said. "I never thought I would have peace or be able to smile." Sims, a native of Chicago who now calls Quincy her home, has been battling a variety of mental illnesses for much of the past 21 years. 
    Lemonia "Joy" Sims now has something awaiting her she never thought possible — a future. "Every sad word in the dictionary described me," she said. "I never thought I would have peace or be able to smile." Sims, a native of Chicago who now calls Quincy her home, has been battling a variety of mental illnesses for much of the past 21 years. 

  • Western Area Purchasing Co-op: 'What we have up here is a pretty good thing for our schools'

    Western Area Purchasing Co-op: 'What we have up here is a pretty good thing for our schools'

    Saturday, November 22 2014 11:34 PM EST2014-11-23 04:34:14 GMT
    LAHARPE, Ill. -- The building's green cover serves as a reminder of the "green" saved by area school districts and businesses working with the Western Area Purchasing Cooperative in LaHarpe. The co-op, overseen by the Regional Office of Education serving Hancock and McDonough counties, buys all kinds of supplies in bulk, which translates into savings for its more than 60 accounts.
    LAHARPE, Ill. -- The building's green cover serves as a reminder of the "green" saved by area school districts and businesses working with the Western Area Purchasing Cooperative in LaHarpe. The co-op, overseen by the Regional Office of Education serving Hancock and McDonough counties, buys all kinds of supplies in bulk, which translates into savings for its more than 60 accounts.

  1. QUINCY -- The Rev. Ivan Greuter is admittedly excited about beginning his third year as president of the Quincy Area Ministerial Association.

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.