The juicy, flame-broiled, all beef patties shown on commercials and advertisements make you salivate just looking at them. You rush to McDonald’s or Burger King to buy yourself a tasty cheeseburger, only to open the bag, unwrap the sandwich and find a mess of greasy meat, oily American cheese that probably wouldn’t melt in the middle of the Sahara and wilted lettuce between deformed buns. The number nine combo meal looks nothing like it did on the giant menu behind the gum-popping teenager working the counter. Why is that?
Questionable Advertising Methods
It is common knowledge that magazine cover photographs are touched up, smoothed and the models or celebrities are made to look far more perfect than how they truly are. Honestly, who wants to see models with cottage cheese cellulite on their rear ends and bags under their eyes? Are you really going to buy make-up that doesn’t cover everything? Are you going to buy that cellulite-smoothing lotion after you’ve seen a model who has claimed to use it, but has just as much dimply fat as you?
Who’s to say that advertising agencies don’t Photoshop their pictures to make them look mouth-watering and perfect? Would you feel more compelled to eat a Taco Bell burrito that was displayed honestly in advertising, all flat and deformed, covered in stringy lettuce and a single, uneven glob of sour cream or would you prefer the burrito that is show on the commercials, the one with the perfectly toasted tortilla, uniformly chopped onions and carefully separated layers of meat, beans and melted cheese? Obviously you would go for the prettier one. Something that looks better is assumed to be better. It’s a classic case of judging a book by its cover. It looks good there on television; therefore, it must be good there in the dining establishment.
When the advertising company photographs the food pictured on the menu and in commercials, the food isn’t always what you see. Oftentimes what you are really seeing is plastic, painted Styrofoam and glue molded into the shape of a perfect Dairy Queen Blizzard Treat. Advertising is not the most honest business and people all around the world claim to know that, but every day we are still tricked into buying the product because it looks magical and wonderful, tasty and delicious on the commercials.
Mass production is another reason why what you see isn’t always what you get. The frozen patties are slapped onto a grill or griddle until they are warm. The meat is placed on a bun, slathered in ketchup, mustard or special sauce, laced with pickles, onion, lettuce and tomato. The assembly-line manufacturing style does nothing for beautifying your burger. It’s more about speed and less about accuracy and presentation. When you hit the drive-thru you expect to get your food fast. You aren’t paying for a sprig of parsley and a perfectly sliced cut of meat. You are paying for fast and convenient. If you wanted beautiful, then you should have went to the five-star, sit-down restaurant across the street where presentation is half the meal.
In conclusion, fast food chains will always continue to show off the one or two perfect burgers they have ever made so the people will buy. But, really. Is it going to slow down consumption just because your Big Mac isn’t as pretty as the one on the menu? It would be unrealistic to expect a perfectly shaped hamburger off the dollar menu to look as good as the one you have to wait an hour for at a more expensive establishment.