Wild tricks advertisers use to make food look appealing


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/11/30/wild-tricks-advertisers-use-to.html



And you won’t believe what happens next!



This is my usual problem whenever I look at the plastic sushi and rubber ramen etc., when I am starving and find myself wanting to eat at a Japanese restaurant. Part of me just wants to go ahead and skip the wait, eat the dang plastic.

It does look delicious…


It is the ideal basis for a low carb, high fibre diet.


My favorite is the bowl of cereal. That ain’t milk…it is Elmer’s glue.


Why is that a problem?


Good for the ketogenic dieter?

And if petroleum is from dinosaurs and primeval forests, and if plastics are made of petroleum, then is it paleo?



What really gets me is how it’s evolved to the point that many delicious looking food advertisements don’t look all that much like actual food, they’ve just evolved the art form through the decades and less people cook any of those foods. I mean even the “real” whipped cream in the video is from a can.


I saw this floating around a bit ago and here’s the thing. A lot of these are less “tricks” to make things look good. Than practical techniques for photographing food in circumstances where that’s not all that easy.

Like do you really think the ad agency can magically keep real ice cream from melting under hot lights for a 4 hour photo shoot? Do you really think anyone wants to splash, spill and pour real dairy products around a poorly ventilated studio. Think about what that fresh pizza you bought looks like once it cools and congeals. Now imagine what it looks like dehydrated by a/v lights.

And at base is any company going to want to show what it’s products look like at their worst?


It worked on me. I went and made waffles, which I haven’t done for months. Real maple syrup just soaks in, it doesn’t look anything like the oil.


Like still delicious pizza?

Admittedly less appetizing, but still delicious pizza?


Reminds me of going to watch Supersize Me with a friend who, after exiting the cinema, said he just felt really hungry for McDonalds.


It’s hard to ruin pizza so maybe that was a bad example.

The syrup is a good one. Syrup soaks into pancakes so suddenly it’s not there anymore. It’s also really sticky, and it attracts flies and pests. You probably don’t want it in your photo studio.

ETA: it’s also not just an advertising thing.

Remember this:

All that frosting looking stuff is Crisco.


Who knew food styling comes with such a peppy soundtrack.


This is why you should never watch TV at dinnertime.


As an Aspie, this idea of “doesn’t this food look delicious?” mystifies me. No, actually, it doesn’t, as far as I’m concerned. My favourite foods tend to look like brown mush, and I’m perfectly well aware that most people don’t consider that visually appealing. Possibly a big part of this is that I don’t much care for cream. (No, let’s be clear, I hate the stuff. It literally makes me sick.) So “alluring” pictures of trifle, profiteroles, eclairs and the like don’t just leave me cold, they put me off. So, HA! You evil arch-villain, your secret weapon will not work on me!


Photographs of food are also not really food.


This shouldn’t be legal. Photos presented as photos of the product should actually be photos of the product. You have to add disclaimers like “not actual size” to other products even when it’s obvious so why is it ok to pad food with cardboard?


Is that how long it takes to shoot some ice cream? Or do they batch all this up, like in the video, and the turkey is just sitting around, waiting its turn after the pumpkin pie, ice cream, soup, etc?

They would rather splash and spill super glue and motor oil?

Seriously, though, of course they want to make it look its best.