Just once. Just once, I tell you, I would love a burger at a famous, internationally recognized fast food restaurant to look anything like it does in the advertising. Never, ever, ever, and I repeat the never part, have I seen a hamburger look anything like it does in the print or television advertising. Nope: not once. Never is the burger perfectly stacked, with the patties perfectly aligned and all the toppings in their proper place, in a nice neat, clean box with no sesame seeds or sauce cluttered around the bottom. In real life, the burger is always lopsided and squashed looking, reflective of the 60 seconds it took to actually make the thing as opposed to the likely hours it takes to make a burger look perfect for a camera.
I keep being lied to, constantly, repeatedly, frustratably (yes, I made that word up). Nor, have I ever seen a fast food restaurant look as pristine, warm and welcoming as I have on the television, with spotless tables and floors, and bright, shiny interiors. Nor, have I seen fresh-faced, happy go lucky, friendly and bouncy staff ready to serve me in a perfectly clean and pressed uniform, without a blemish on their face. Nor, have I seen beautiful, healthy people sitting and enjoying their perfect meals with big, white smiles and a look of complete bliss and satisfaction. I have never, ever seen the fast food restaurant of the advertisements in real life. Lies, all lies.
Why do we put up with this? Why do we constantly bow down and allow these mega chains to lie so blatantly to us about what they serve and who they are? When have you ever received your order in a bag that didn’t have big grease stains on it? Now ask: when have you ever seen a bag in a television advertisement with big grease stains on it? That’s right, never. These are the actual, real parts of ordering food at fast food restaurants that somehow get overlooked in the ads. Funny that, eh? But, it doesn’t seem to deter us. We still eat it up, figuratively and literally. And very rarely do we question it. It’s almost as if we are so used to being lied to that we just block it out.
It’s just advertising.
We know they aren’t actually telling us the truth. We know that when we see an ad we aren’t actually seeing what we get. We just don’t seem to care anymore. We’re used to being target markets and demographics and we know the deal: its perception, not reality that sells products. And that is all these burgers are, products. They aren’t even food, or meals, or cuisine. Just product. Whether it’s a car, a DVD, a smart phone, an ice cream cone or a burger, it’s all the same, just a product, sold with lies and bought without question. Time and time again. The ads bombard us. We watch and read them. We absorb the unrealism. And we buy. And the cycle continues. And now I am hungry, so, if you will excuse me, I’m going to the drive thru to order a burger with a side lies.
Chris Hearn wants to end the hamburger lies.