Don’t believe everything you see. The photos of food that you encounter in your daily life have usually been styled. That’s right. It’s actually an entire profession, that to make food look delicious on images.
Take for instance photos of hamburgers. These photos are common enough, you will see them in fast food restaurants and on commercials in most media. But consider that the burger you see on the image has probably been under a spotlight for hours in a photo studio.. What does it take to make a burger look that good for so long hay? Well, a blowtorch might have been used to brown the hamburger patties. It is also common to use hat pins or toothpicks to keep the hamburger patties from sliding. Posture is everything, even for hamburgers.
To keep a burger’s style intact for longer times it takes another level of trickery than you are used to in your kitchen. For instance, the oily substance glycerin is used in combination with paintbrushes, and sometimes even glue! Everything to ensure that the burger remains fit during the photo shoot. A burger’s fame on the catwalk is tough work.
Now consider salads and fruit. Can you picture a photo of a branch of green grapes with frosty veneer? Now imagine someone using hairspray to create the illusion of that frosty veneer. Glycerin applied with paintbrushes to lettuce will also create a look of freshness.
Food Advertisements In Film
You are watching an intense scene between two actors. The music is pitched perfectly with the mood and everyone in the cinema are quiet as mice. Then, all of a sudden a waitress steals into the picture, serves a famous brand beer to one of the actors. The camera swerves slightly to show the bottle in full view, just long enough for your retina to register the brand name. This happens often enough with varying degrees of tact.
One prominent feature of fast food campaigns nowadays is to target teenage men and younger adult men in the beginning of their careers. Take for example the “Spicy Burger” commercial featuring Paris Hilton clad in a bikini, cleaning a Bentley car and, enjoying a hamburger.
Now, does this make you hungry? Feel free to comment below. Or is it so simple that you need to be hungry to be affected by photo and film food advertisements?
But food and drink does serve another purpose in films. Different food brands have attained different levels of status. This is used in the film industry to emphasize personal characteristics and cultural contexts. We as viewers want to be helped to associate the photo or film setting by seeing recognizable brand names. But of course this is also an efficient method of cloaked advertising. Say for example, why does that woman drink a cup of Starbucks coffee instead of a cup of hot brew from a coffee machine? Or why does that man wear a Breitling watch instead of a Cartier watch?
On a sidenote fast food restaurants have been affected by the many years of rapports stating that fast food is harmful to health (who would have guessed!).
Humour, you say?
Satire made its way into food commercials also. This could be anticipated as many customers grow weary of advertisements that are simply too perfect and have nothing buy praise for one particular product.
How hungry do you need to be?
It goes without saying that once hungry, you are easily tempted by imagery of food. But how relevant is this for food advertising? This is naturally a question that depends to a great extent on who is asked. But it can be entertaining to keep this in mind the next time you pick a certain fast food restaurant, or why you choose to but a certain brand of food in the grocery store.