Ads vs. Reality

Each item was purchased, taken home and photographed immediately. Nothing was tampered with, run over by a car, or anything of that sort. It is an accurate representation in every case.

KFC Famous Bowl

fastfood 1

fastfood 15

Wendy’s Southwest Taco Salad

fastfood 5

fastfood 4


Taco Bell Nachos Bell Grande

fastfood 7

fastfood 3

McDonald’s Big Mac

fastfood 9

fastfood 8

McDonald’s Filet O Fish Sandwich

fastfood 10

fastfood 11

McDonald’s Sausage McMuffin

fastfood 12

fastfood 16


Burger King sausage, egg, and cheese croissant

fastfood 13

fastfood 14

Burger King Whopper

fastfood 6

fastfood 2


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29 responses to “Ads vs. Reality”

18 04 2007
Eric (10:05:51) :

Reminds me of when I did some work for a company a while back, and got to see some of their old ads. From back when they used to use REAL food in the ads. Scary stuff.

18 04 2007
Chris Sloan (15:40:47) :

That’s great; for years I’ve always noticed the difference but seeing the 2 side by side really makes it hit home. – Talk about false advertising!

18 04 2007
Prosthetic Device » Funny Comparison Pix (15:54:51) :

[...] idea for such a challenge came to me when I Stumbled Upon a web page displaying a series of food pix: first the pretty pic from an ad campaign, then the poster’s pic of the same [...]

18 04 2007
R.Q. Einstein (16:08:27) :

well of course food isn’t going to look exactly like the advertisement. it’s still got the same ingredients. i’ll bet you ate each and every one of these after u took the pics.

18 04 2007
Anon (18:26:55) :

I’ve seen some of those foods like the whopper and nachos come out prettier, but maybe it’s just that the people working that day had something to do with the sub-par look of them in your case.

All of the others I’ve either never seen in person, like the KFC one (for good reason), or I’ve seen them close to what you got. Also, the KFC one, if it wasn’t rushed, would look like it should in the picture (more or less). The cheeses they use in that one have a greasy texture when they melt, which is why they’re not melted in the ads.

18 04 2007
John Cook (19:24:38) :

I was surprised at how closely some of the products matched their advertised appearance. Some missed the mark but I can’t call it false, misleading or, deceptive advertising, just sloppy, underpaid, apathetic, teenagers trying out their first job. Would you do better? I wouldn’t think so. Nor would you advertise with the actual products either. You would do just as any successful businessman and present your best face to the world. Hard to be successful looking ugly, but hard to sell a very pretty $7.00 fast food burger also. Compromises are a fact, Jack.

18 04 2007
Mike (19:38:03) :

It’s called styling, and can take hours to accomplish. All the items in the photograph are the same as used in the product, just the most photogenic lettuce, beef or noodles available. Items are hand placed one by one to look their freshest and most appealing. It’s like all other advertising, to make us want things we might not ever choose if they didn’t strike some chord in us making them desireable.

Yes, It’s even the same cheese, just fresher.

18 04 2007
BABY GIRL (19:52:46) :


18 04 2007
Quats (19:59:04) :

Just like the pictures of beautiful sexy women (and the occasional man) in ads: you’d probably pass them by on the street without a second thought but you drool over the pictures after the makeup artists, hair stylists, and lighting crew get done with them… and the “perfect” picture selected of the perhaps dozens to hundreds taken… AND then the photo editors get done with it. Yup, it’s a real person… and yup… it’s real food… but the photo is far from the reality.

18 04 2007
Doug (20:07:23) :

What a great idea! And how depressing – at the same time. I confess the only one I’ve eaten is the Burger King – but they all taste like they look. ;-)

18 04 2007
Concerned (20:27:01) :

If you have ever had to have the “sub-par” wage when working one of these places you might empathize with the workers a bit better. However, no matter the wage or the job, one SHOULD always do the best, but also keep in mind that the company or person that OWNS the franchise often times buys or uses less than the best products when reselling to customers, not to mention that they treat their workers worse than a rabid dog, and keeping in mind the aforementioned pay. Be aware this is the case whether it is food or other products.

Stop wage slavery…
End usery…
Free yourselves…


18 04 2007
Some Guy (21:15:49) :

R.Q. Einstein, you are an idiot. I personally can’t imagine anyone eating any of the food here portrayed, and I actually become uncomfortable using the term “food” to designate it. The Wendy’s Taco Salad looked especially toxic. I think it’s sad that we live in a world where having lowered expectations is considered to be the obvious response to this kind of discrepancy.

18 04 2007
Dave (21:17:45) :

Awe, the real food looks so sad

18 04 2007
Zuza + Pictures not equal to Advertisement Reality at (22:19:30) :

[...] pictures fast-food joints use to promote their product? Zuza decided to take a few pictures and compare them to the advertisement pictures to see the difference. Can you spot the [...]

19 04 2007
Dr Axe (02:27:23) :

You could have at least focused….

19 04 2007
G Anon (04:26:56) :

It’s not always real food in ads, a lot of what is shot in food ads isn’t actually made of “food” at all –especially the case with, say, dairy products– but they are by no means the only example. So…

“It’s called styling, and can take hours to accomplish”.

“All the items in the photograph are the same as used in the product…”

But sometimes:
“…[J]ust the most photogenic [insert food item here] available.”

“Items are hand placed one by one to look their freshest and most appealing.”

And Quats is spot on:

Quats (19:59:04) :
“Just like the pictures of beautiful [people] in ads: you’d probably pass them by on the street without a second thought but you drool over the pictures after the makeup artists, hair stylists, and lighting crew get done with them… and the “perfect” picture selected of the perhaps dozens to hundreds taken… AND then the photo editors…”

AND thousands of dollars and weeks (up to months) of retouching.


20 04 2007
JC (18:06:38) :

Only parts of the food in the advertising are real – lots of the ingredients are substituted for things that can withstand sitting out all day and still maintain their shape under hot atrificial lighting, etc.

You shouldn’t eat that crap anyway… though a BigMac sounds real good right about now.

23 06 2007
Tristan (01:28:41) :

on the nachos image that isn’t SOUR cream, its SHAVING cream! alot of other “ingrediaints” in the images in the resterants are fake. and the ones with un-melted cheese are not cooked. and grease is sometimes fake (water). its amazing the things people will do to make food look appitizing and have them buy it when in reality it doesnt look that good.

3 07 2007
John Denver (16:44:04) :

I actualy have a friend that continually insists that McDonalds make his double cheeseburger as it looks in the picture. In the picture it’s (top to bottom) cheese, mea,t cheese, meat. It is always made meat, cheese, meat, cheese. He says there’s a difference, and makes them make it that way. And he worked in fast food for seven years, so yes, he knows he’s a prick.

4 07 2007
the_same_guy (04:47:13) :

The awful truth!!!
But, in my preferite dinner the meal is greatest than the ads.

29 07 2007
Hakan (18:31:34) :

I am living in Austria and the Big Mac here looks almost same like in the ad. If the Big Mac would look like the one you bought I would never eat it. Seems to be true that Mc Donalds is different in any country.

28 09 2007
Dana (07:08:15) :

lol, some of you people make me laugh. The food was not tampered with coming out of the box, face it, the food we fill ourselves with is crap, but we keep eating it. There’s no way around it…I don’t know why some of you people defend the fast food companies as if you’ll get a free cheese burger out of it. It is and isn’t faulty advertising. They should give what you expect, but at the same time, why would you expect something brilliant from a place like McDonalds?

26 10 2007
Steve (07:10:32) :

The McDonald’s ones are the worst. Their ads are great but the food is just slop.

3 02 2008
HA... (22:09:35) :

SOME GUY… you are really some guy! you rellly think that they would buy the burger and not EAT IT? It’s actualy quite stupid. I mean the profits help the economy and it would taste the same so WHAT s WRONG?

18 05 2008
ursula (09:22:13) :


24 08 2008
fiona (18:03:11) :

the whole idea of Ad is to make the product look as good as possible. and i’m sure everyone have eaten all of this food.
p.s. in my country these don’t look as bad as here, on the photos

22 02 2009
Happy Hippie (00:42:44) :

They look almost the same, I was expecting worse.

4 11 2009
Collan (14:06:31) :

Its so true, Ive always asked myself why doesnt it look like the picture. Where is the pride

9 04 2010
You Think (03:56:26) :

Yea the ad and the real thing look different…but what do you expect? It is ‘fresh’ food, it is handled by people and moved around in a container or paper…even if they made it look like the picture once assembly was done…the heat from the food will wilt the veggies and melt the cheese…and the bread would deflate somewhat….Out of all of those, the nachos is probably the worst…but its fast food…I dont see someone strategically placing squirts of beans and meat between each chip.

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