Does That Food Look Too Good to Be True?

Tricks That the Food Industry Uses to Make Food Look Irresistible

It is likely that at some point within the past week you have visited a fast food chain or another type of restaurant for a meal. Marketing for these types of establishments is largely accomplished through the print and television ads that they put out for the public. These ads contain pictures of the food that are meant to entice diners to their establishments. Potential customers are continually enticed with perfectly placed food that looks more like a painting than an actual meal. When the food however is actually ordered at the establishment of our choosing however, it is not nearly as appetizing as we expected. The big food chains know that if they can get you in the door with the promise of perfection, then you are not likely to leave even if the food is not to your expectations. It is not something most of us even think about any longer, but it is a tactic that the food industry has been using as long as it has been around.

In the Beginning

The dawn of the television made way for the food industry to get actual pictures of the food out into the minds of potential customers the world over. The early days of advertising were relatively easy when it came to making the food look good because the television sets themselves were only in black and white. As long as the food looked like what they served, the customer did not even see if it were slightly discolored as long as the shades of gray, black, white were all there. The problems began when the television sets went from black and white to color models.

With the invention of the color television set advertisers had to ensure that all of the colors came across in the correct manner. Any discoloration could now be seen by everyone and they had to ensure that the food being advertised looked like it was supposed to. Even though many of these burgers and other food items looked appetizing they were actually inedible. There were no standards as to the truth in advertising so companies used any number of inedible items such as paint, cardboard, and even glue to ensure that the food at least looked good. The result was the beginning of the false expectations that we are all too familiar with today.

Make it Edible

Advertisers were allowed to get away with a lot of things during the beginning of the food industry television ads, but that came to an abrupt end when people began to complain about the fact that the food was being falsely advertised. The advertisers were forced to change their tactics when the ruling ordering that all food advertised had to be edible. That meant that the use of the inedible products was no longer allowed and ushered in the use of food stylists and expert photographers.

If you look at an advertisement today in print or on television you can bet that it was a food stylist who positioned the food and a professional photographer who found the perfect angle coupled with the perfect light to make the food have the best possible appearance. Anyone who has ever worked within the fast food industry will tell you that the food is made as fast as humanly possible and as long as you get all of the ingredients into the box, then you job is complete. They would never dream of painstakingly piping on the mayonnaise and positioning the tomato and lettuce in the exactly perfect way, but that is exactly what food stylists do.

Computer Enhancements

The food industry is very savvy in how they flout the rules that they are supposed to follow with their advertisements. Although it is stated that the food has to be edible, it is not stated that it cannot be altered with the use of computers. Photoshop and other enhancement programs or even computer generated models are now commonly used to ensure that the food looks the way it should without violating the laws. Should the food stylist be unable to make the proper adjustments to the product, it is up to the computer gurus of the world to enhance the picture to complete perfection. This is the only thing that fast food and super models seem to have in common in the world of today.

It is completely understandable that you may be disappointed when you drive into your favorite food stop for a quick bite to eat. Your burger may look as though it was put together by a two-year-old just learning the basics of stacking blocks, but you will no doubt simply eat it anyway because the television or print ad made the food look so good. It is not something to be ashamed of because we all do it and that is why this trend will continue. These advertisers are excellent at what they do.

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