My dad and I went out for a beer. The table display showed four glasses and a full plate of beautiful wings as the special. We placed our order and started catching up.
When the order arrived with six scrawny wings, I felt cheated.
Reviewing the card, I saw they’d said six wings per order, so I’m to blame for not paying attention. Obviously, the intention was to get people to do exactly what I did.
So they accomplished their immediate objective. But will we return?
Food photography can be challenging, and can get you into trouble if done wrong. It caused Campbell’s BIG headaches in 1968 when it was revealed they used marbles in photos of soup to force the vegetables to the top.
I recognize that pictures of fruit with dew drops on them are actually sporting glycerin (which doesn’t evaporate under hot lights). And photos of ice cream are more likely mashed potatoes to ensure they maintain their form.
Naturally, marketers and manufacturers want to sell their customers as much as possible. That’s why McDonald’s food stylists count the number of seeds on their buns before pictures are taken (really!)
But the truth is most consumers rarely know about this stuff, and think about it even less. They see a juicy apple and figure they’ll get…a juicy apple. I saw a photo of 12 chicken wings and made an assumption.
But we all know what happens when you assume, right?
“My job is to get people in there. Red Lobster’s job is to keep them coming back,” says the food stylist responsible for Red Lobster’s amazing commercials. She doesn’t worry about the fine print.
And I don’t want to worry about it either. When I go out with my dad, I want to focus on the conversation, rather than whether I’m being lied to.
Your customers probably feel the same way.
In truth, I’ve probably exaggerated once or twice myself. And this photograph didn’t exactly mis-represent the merchandise, making their attorney happy.
But if you’re commissioning custom photography for whatever you’re selling, I’m certain your customers will be upset if they discover they need to buy two units to get what’s being implied as a single purchase.
Like Mom always said; “Honesty is the best policy.”
With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.
Keep you marketing honest at www.askmrmarketing.com.