WATCH: Behind the Scenes at a McDonald’s Photo Shoot

Why do the products in an advertisement look so much better than the actual product when you buy it?

We all know there are tricks to the trade — good lighting, post-shoot photoshopping, perhaps a sprinkling or oil or some other unknown product to gloss things up — but what exactly happens?

That was a question posted to the folks at McDonald’s Canada. Isabel M. from Toronto asked, “Why does your food look different in the advertising than what is in the store?” (You know what she’s talking about, right? The big, juicy looking burger in the photo seldom resembles the deflated bun and grey meat on your tray.) So to answer the question, the marketing team for the fast food giant’s Canadian branch created a McDonald’s behind the scenes photo shoot reveals video.

You might think this would all be a PR piece, and on one level it is, but it’s a PR piece exposing the truth. Hope Bagozzi, Director of Marketing for McDonald’s Canada, takes viewers from an actual McDonald’s location where they buy a burger, then to a photo studio where they shoot a product for a campaign. She has no qualms about showing viewers the tricks they use, but along the way you also learn how legit the advertising is. Considering how often you hear about non-food items being used to manipulate a shoot, it’s fascinating to see that McDonald’s actually uses their real products in their photos.

This may not make you rush out and buy a Big Mac tonight, but it’s a totally cool video that’s worth watching.

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