In my last post, I wrote about authenticity in social media. With this post, I’m focusing on authenticity in advertising. While that subject could likely provide enough source material to teach a full semester’s course, I’ll narrow it down to fast food advertising (and just this one post).
It’s not a secret that many hours go into enhancing the look of fast food products. The lighting has to be just right, items are strategically placed, touch-ups are done. In fact, quite often what you see isn’t the actual food product but something made to look like it. Is that really ice cream you’re seeing in a commercial, or scoops of lard covered in motor oil? Is it milk in that cereal bowl, or watered-down glue? Yes, you read those examples correctly. 🙂
Since learning about these techniques in college, I’ve never really trusted fast food advertising. Watch the video below and your level of trust might be lower too.
There’s a recent trend that’s become an advertising pet peeve of mine. Have you noticed fast food restaurants often include slow-motion shots of sandwiches being meticulously constructed with farm-fresh ingredients using pristine instruments? It’s almost like watching a culinary version of the game “Operation!” Do you really think that’s what occurs after you place your order at the drive-thru? Or, is it more likely someone is slapping together food warmed under a heat lamp as quickly as possible using their hands (hopefully with gloves)?
For the above reasons, I find authenticity in fast food advertising significantly lacking. What other industries need to do a better job of being authentic in their advertising?