Have you ever gone to some fast food place, taken a look at the pictures on the menu and decided that, despite what you know about fast food, it looks pretty darn good? Then you order it and WTF? Is this the same meal? Well the folks over at The West Virginia Surf Report have decided to start a comparison of fast food ads vs real fast food photographs. There's a lot of debate as to whether or not this is a fair comparison (after all the ads get great lighting and color correction, so maybe the real pictures should have better lighting and color correction), however it is still pretty telling. The picture above shows Taco Bell's Nacho Bell Grande and if you ask me, no amount of lighting, color correction or soft focus lenses would make the one on the right look nearly as good as the one on the left. Some of the ads don't look nearly as terrible as the others - and some look bad no matter what, the fish fillet looks sort of odd and bland even in the ad photo - but don't take my word on it, go ahead and judge for yourself.
What do you guys think? Do you think it's fair to compare them? Is it bad for advertisers to use the images they do?
Also, this isn't the first time this has been done. In fact just last month The Consumerist ran a comparison of the Wendy's 4 Alarm Spicy Chicken ad vs a real picture.