Capn Design

Behind the scenes at a McDonald's photo shoot

I have long thought it’d be fun to reproduce fast food ads, keeping everything the same except I’d swap the product photo with one of from a burger I’ve purchased. We all know the end result does not look the same, but this video shows how much lighting and retouching makes a difference. When you style up any old Quarter-pounder, it ends up looking pretty good.

While the video is entertaining, it doesn’t make me feel better or less manipulated. The difference between reality and the ad is too great, which leads to disappointment. Of course, McDonald’s is trying to sell a product and they are going to do what it takes to maximize sales, but it’s not helpful to the consumer.

It’d be great if, just like standardized nutritional information, there was standardized product marketing. Every burger had to be photographed in the same studio; every phone had to show the same set of features; every airline had to display their average hold times and delay length. It’d be maddeningly difficult, if not impossible, but realistic expectations would make consumers happier in the long run and force corporations to build better products. [via kottke]