McDonalds' Transparency

This is fascinating. McDonald's Canada made a video showing its food stylists at work:

What's even more compelling for me than the actual styling is what this reveals about McDonald's search for transparency. They want consumers to be able to see where there food comes from--just enough so they can trust that they're not being overly manipulated.

But it makes me wonder, what kind of styling did it take to produce this video itself? That is, what is behind the scenes of this behind-the-scenes video?

And it also made me remember this video of another burger being prepared for its moment in the spotlight, that I've used for teaching before:

Is it possible that any of these techniques are also being used in the McDonald's promo, and we just don't see them?

The comments for the first video on youtube have been disabled, so we don't get to read the voices of any actual consumers, but I wonder what effect this kind of advertising will have on McDonald's reputation as an opaque food producer?


  1. Great post! I also saw the McDonald's video, and it made me think of the second video as well. I agree that there's probably a lot more going on in the McDonald's video than is explicitly explained. For example, you see the "food stylist" running the edges of the frozen burger against the grill to brown them. This seems to suggest that they use the same trick of undercooking the display burgers so that they look maximally juicy... but of course they don't mention that bit. They take pains to minimize how different the display product is from the food product. As they present it, the display product is just rearranged; it's still something you'd want to eat. Doing a "behind-the-scenes" video is disarming; they're voluntarily revealing their tricks, so they must be trustworthy. But I agree with you that there's probably more going on behind the behind-the-scenes, and it would probably be a pretty bad idea to eat that photogenic burger. (An even worse idea, that is, than eating a regular McDonald's burger.)


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