Most of us at some point have bought a meal based solely on its mouth-watering appearance in a commercial. And just as many of us have been disappointed when the finished product doesn’t quite match what we pictured in our heads. This is no coincidence, though, as food companies regularly employ stylists to spruce up their products for the screen.
But while this practise just skirts around false advertising, the techniques these artists use are certainly more than misleading. Indeed, you may lose your appetite after learning about the weird tricks that make these morsels look so succulent.
20. Undercooked meat looks bigger on screen
Ever bought a burger that looked smaller than it did on screen? Well, there’s a common explanation for that. Because meat tends to shrink when cooked, stylists – like Janine Kalesis who explained the trick to CNBC in 2014 – only grill patties and other meat products until they’re brown on the surface. This means that most burgers shown in commercials are actually raw.
19. Shoe polish gives meat that fresh-from-the-oven feel
Since the majority of photographed meat is undercooked, advertisers employ little gimmicks to make this raw food look more palatable. One such technique employed by artists like Jack Sargeson – who revealed his secrets in 2016 project Faking It – is to simply paint meat a darker shade. In particular, shoe polish really shines at giving food a recently cooked appearance.