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Dirty Little Decepticons!

Deliciously proportioned perfect little pure pleasures describes most of the advertisements that entice humans to buy food from various food companies. I know that these corporations have hired graphic designers for one purpose…to illustrate their product perfectly. I completely understand that and truly have no problems with it because generally everything that I buy always looks like the picture. I’ve even come to know that one can even get a job and make very good money, making fake food for commercials and for advertisement campaigns. My frustration and anger resulted last week because I decided to try a taco from the on-campus Taco Bell restaurant that is one of many restaurants in the food court in the Johnson building.

Up until that moment I’ve never felt like I’ve been truly swindled into buying a product from a company simply because of false advertising. The picture that advertises the taco is fat and juicy. Thick layers of beef, lettuce and cheese seemed to explode from the crispy golden taco shell and seductively whispered my name to “Buy meee, try meee, eat meee Ruqayyah!” Listening to the roar in my stomach and the cute little voice of the taco, I went against my better judgment and I bought one. When opening the wrapper I was struck with the same exciting enthusiasm as if I were the lead in Willie Wonka looking for a golden ticket. To my surprise the taco didn’t look anything like the picture in the advertisement. Go Figure!

Damn! I’ve been bamboozled, I’ve been hoodwinked! Not only had my taco been battling anorexia and lost, it could have easily been the poster-child for starvation in any third world country. I know that designers have jobs to do. I know that they get paid to do those jobs. But…….are designers paid to lie? I mean, this is America for goodness sakes! Where does ones personal responsibility to simply tell the truth and nothing but the truth fall into play when it comes to being asked to design something that doesn’t accurately portray the true identity of the product being sold?

What do you think?

One Comment

  1. jandos wrote:

    Thanks for the interesting post, Ruqayyah. Food photography is a fascinating topic, legally the food a chain sells has to be the same as the food it pictures. In other words, if a Taco Bell taco has 2 oz. of meat, they can’t photograph a taco with 6 oz. of meat for the poster. However, there are certainly ways to make that taco look bigger than it is. Typically, the meat is only browned, not fully cooked so there is a minimum of shrinkage, and it is assembled, staged and photographed to look as big as possible. It probably took 6 people (photographer, two photo assistants, two food stylists and an art director) 8 hours to get that photo looking like that. Plus, this is Taco Bell we’re talking about. I’ve only been in a Taco Bell once in the last 20 years, but I agree that it has some of the ugliest and most indifferently assembled Mexican food I’ve seen.

    Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at 4:57 am | Permalink