Fast Food: The Advertising Versus The Reality

Have you ever received a "less than perfect" looking meal from your favorite fast food restaurant? For example, have you ever received this?

When based on the Arby's magazine ad you were expecting your roast beef and cheddar to look like this?


You will often see your favorite fast food restaurant running television commercials, newspaper inserts and magazine advertisements displaying appetizing looking breakfast sandwiches, cheeseburgers and salads.

How often, when you get to your local Wendy’s, Arby’s, Burger King, or whomever you’re favorite grab-and-go meal supplier is, does the $1 value meal look as filling and delicious as the meals you saw advertised during your favorite TV show last night?

The following photos show pictures of advertised fast food meals followed by photos of what they really looked like when the consumers took them out of the package.

Let’s start with breakfast. On your commute into work you see a billboard for a Burger King egg, cheese and sausage croissant...

 How often after you pull through the drive thru and unwrap your breakfast, does it look like this?


 Now, for McDonald's Sausage Breakfast Burrito, advertising shows you:

When in reality, you may be receiving this:


 For some of your lunch and dinner favorites...

With the new salads from Wendy's, who wouldn't want to try a healthier fast food option, with pictures like this:

 Would you want to try one, if you saw it advertised like this?


On final example...The ever popular McDonald's Big Mac.


Versus reality:

 You can see the growing collection of these photos at WVSR.

What do you think? Does your favorite fast food look like the advertising? Is this false advertising?

Amy Gifford
Featured Blogger

Jun 19, 2007
by AmericanCynic

Overly stylized food

McDonalds announced a few years ago that they were going to move away from pictures that had been overly obsessed over by food stylists. Guess that didn't last long. But what do you expect? You can't expect minimum wage drones to take a lot of care making cheap dishes from real-world supplies.

Jun 19, 2007
by Alan Parekh (not verified)

I once got half a meat patty

I once got half a meat patty in a Wendys burger. When I phoned to complain that half of the burger had no meat they said that they had run out of the thinner patties that should have gone into that burger and were cutting the thicker ones in half to make up for it...