Apparently there’s not much difference between a supermodel and a McDonald’s cheeseburger — both rely on stylists and photographers to look their best.
A popular YouTube video which has racked up more than two million views since it was posted this week takes viewers behind the scenes of a burger print ad for before and after juxtapositions.
It’s part of a McDonald’s initiative called “Our Food, Your Questions” which has executives responding to direct queries from consumers, such as whether the fast-food giant uses 100 per cent beef and real eggs in its offerings.
“Behind the scenes at a McDonald’s photo shoot” was triggered by an Isabel M. from Toronto who asked “Why does your food look different in the advertising than what’s in the store?”
A camera follows McDonald’s Canada director of marketing Hope Bagozzi as she buys a quarter pounder with cheese and takes it to the company’s creative agency for a side-by-side comparison with a burger made from scratch by a food stylist.
“That (purchased) burger was made in about a minute or so, the process we go through on the average shoot takes several hours,” said Bagozzi of the procedure she refers to as the “finessing of the product.”
The stylist uses the same ingredients employed in the restaurants — beef patty, ketchup, mustard, onions, bun, pickles — but assembles them as if dressing a catwalk model.
After melting the cheese with a blow dryer, he smoothes it with a palette knife and uses a syringe to apply the condiments. After the shoot, an imaging tech enhances the colour and removes indentations from the bun.
The result is a glossy looking burger that seems almost twice the size of the store bought version.
“The less amount of retouching that we do to something the less perfect it looks, but actually it looks more appetizing and more convincing,” said Bagozzi.
“The box that our sandwiches come in keep the sandwiches warm, so it creates a bit of a steam effect, and it does make the bun contract a little bit.”