More on McDonald’s Promo Shots

As a follow up to my post yesterday, check out this video from McDonald’s Canada on the actual process they use for taking product shots.

(Thanks to @greghao on Twitter for the link.)

A couple of things I want to point out from this video:

  • Part of the reason for manipulating the burger is to be sure that all ingredients are visible in the shot. This is actually critical. If they just shot the burger as-is, and I didn’t see that it contained onions, for instance, I’d be pretty pissed when it arrived with onions. So the ingredients all need to be arranged to be hanging out of the bun. Something that would be of no concern for a production burger.
  • They spend a ton of time getting the photo correct, so that they need to do little in post-processing after the fact. This is good advice for us on our screenshots as well. If you have a content-rich app, especially, take the time to craft really good stand-in content, so you don’t have to massage it in Photoshop after the fact.
  • They spend several hours crafting this burger and setting it up to be shot. If you wanted your burger to look like the photos, in other words, you’d have to wait quite a while in that drive-thru line.
  • Note, the marketing director doesn’t seem at all concerned that making these changes, even the ones that are purely cosmetic, such as “repairing” dimples on the bun and moving the cheese around, is in any way unethical. She simply believes in showing the product in the best light possible. Her goal is to make the shot “appetizing.” (How eating the burger will make you feel.)
  • While Charles had quipped that the Special Sauce is applied with tweezers in our podcast discussion, they actually use a syringe.

Meanwhile, what, exactly, is the right side of a burger? The photographer mentions showing the right side of both burgers. Do round objects have sides?