What you see is what you get? Well, not in fast food advertising.
And this discrepancy is at the heart of recent lawsuits, but doesn’t this all feel a little bit silly?
I mean, on the one hand, I think most people agree that advertising should represent the actual product it is trying to sell. On the other hand, you probably knew exactly what my first line referred to without needing to go into details of how the actual food can differ from what you see in ads. And yet, even with that being that case, it is not as if we are surprised by this when we order something at one of these franchise places or refuse to return because of it.
So is anyone here really at fault?
I mean, if the end result of this is that McDonald’s is forced to make the food in its ads more closely resemble what you receive at the restaurant, I don’t think this is going to affect their food at all. If they were to offer something that looks fuller and includes more ingredients, that would shift it right out of its fast-food niche. Instead, I would place a bet on the change coming in how they advertise instead.
And no matter what, it probably isn’t going to alter customer behavior that much. At this point, we all know what a Big Mac really is … and sometimes we still want one.
For in the end, isn’t advertising just a best-case scenario no matter what? Be it in any products or services that we consume, we understand that the pitch for them presents an ideal and we will be satisfied as long as we are approaching that ideal. Reaching it, however, well, those are special moments.
Even when falling short, though, that doesn’t mean advertising isn’t working – after all, this is the second week in a row I have mentioned fast food burgers in this space.
And that ideal really does work both ways. When someone sells something, they may not be able to hit 100% satisfaction with every customer, but they want to get close enough to keep them coming back. That is how a business thrives after all, by selling what you offer and then giving to that someone to the best of your ability. And then as a customer, you should get a satisfying experience out of it. If that doesn’t happen, well, then it is time to move on. Or at least file a silly lawsuit, it seems.
Just in the end, whether you are a business or a customer, we all need to work together to see that people are getting what they want.
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