McDonald's products always look better than what you get when you order them at your local Mickey D's: plumper, juicier, more colorful. That's because the photos are retouched and the products photographed actually take hours to make and put together.
The revelation comes from the fast food giant itself which, in a bid to show customers that it's not out to deceive them, shot a behind-the-scenes video that you can also find below, embedded at the end of the article.
McDonald's Marketing Director Hope Bagozzi is shown in the clip buying a regular burger and then taking it to a photography studio, where it will be photographed and compared to a burger made especially for the shoot.
The idea, Bagozzi says, is to create a burger that will be so appetizing that people would instantly reach out for it, even if they see it in print or on TV.
“That burger [made in a normal McDonald’s] was made in about a minute or so. The process we go through on the average shoot takes several hours,” she says in the clip.
“I think that it’s important to note that all the ingredients are the exact same ingredients that we use in the restaurant. So it is the exact same patty, it’s the exact same ketchup, mustard and onions, and same buns,” she explains.
The difference is that this second burger is made by a “food stylist” who puts extreme care and attention into arranging every ingredient in such a manner as to make it more appetizing.
“This way we can at least tell people you have ketchup, you have mustard, you have two pieces of cheese and you know what you’re getting,” the stylist chimes in.
After it's photographed, the second burger is made even better-looking in Photoshop, where certain “flaws” are removed and colors are modified to be made to stand out more.
That's not the only thing that differs between the two burgers though: size is too and Bagozzi knows that only too well.
“Here you can definitely see that there is a size difference. The boxes that our burgers come in keep the sandwiches warm which creates a bit of a steam and it does make the bun contract,” she explains.
“And the main difference is that we took all the ingredients that are normally hidden under the bun and we pulled them to the foreground so that you can see them,” Bagozzi adds.