What You Are Sold Vs What You Buy

Everyone sees the advertisements for our mainstay fast-food restaurants such as McDonalds, Burger King, and Taco Bell. The commercials, as you would expect, show flattering pictures of of the food items they sell. Likewise, when you go to look at a menu that depicts the burger or taco, they are shown in “the best light”. They are trying to depict the ideal burger or taco. Philosophically speaking, if a Whopper or Big Mac existed in Plato’s world of the forms, these advertisers want to depict the perfect Whopper or Big Mac that all other Whoppers and Big Macs will be judged against.

As an audience we have become educated enough not to expect what is in the advertisement, but exactly how far off are the particular products from the standard that is presented? Photographer “Dario D” shows us the difference between what we are sold and what we buy in this ongoing project. I was surprised by two things in the pictures above, how bad the actual Burger King hamburgers look compared to their ideal and how close the McDonald’s hamburgers look to their ideal. McDonald’s met my expectations of what I would actually get compared to the photo and may have even exceeded them a bit. Taco Bell and Jack In The Box less so, but were still in the range of what I would expect. Burger King failed miserably. They fall so below the standard of what Whoppers should look like that it makes me wonder if they qualify to even be called “Whoppers”. Do you think any of these companies are guilty of false advertisement?