Friday, 10 May 2013

Truth makes great PR

Over the years there have been a number of those irritating photo messages that get repeatedly shared on Facebook showing just how different the hamburgers McDonalds shows in its advertising look from the actual burger bought in a store. In the comparison photos the one in the advert is plump with all sorts of good things visible - the real one is saggy and usually just displays a bit of meat and an ooze of cheese.

Generally speaking, the McDonalds response to this has been to ignore it - the usual corporate approach to bad publicity, but some while ago the Canadian branch of McD's decided to address the matter face on. I think this was a bold and actually very sensible thing to do from a PR standpoint. Once you get over the fact that the burger in the photo is not made in a restaurant, but in a studio (using the standard ingredients) the difference in appearance does make a kind of sense. Yes, the bits and pieces are carefully arranged to stick out of the bun, which is plumper than the real one because it hasn't been steamed in the container. But they are the usual bits and pieces.

Frankly, to moan about deception misses the nature of advertising. Arguably this is less deception than the car ad that implies that if you drive their car your kids will sit in the back enjoying the ride and amazed by the design, as opposed to attempting to skewer each other with pens, spilling drinks on your seats and screaming. You might as well moan that the actors in adverts are wearing makeup. At least the hamburger in the video didn't suffer than indignity.

See what you think:

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