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Fast Food Burger Ads vs. Reality: The Sad, Limp, Under-Lettuced Truth

With or without a slick ad photo, these Wendy's Double Baconators sell themselves.
With or without a slick ad photo, these Wendy's Double Baconators sell themselves.
Photos by Patrick Michels

We all know those fast food ad wizards have their tricks -- fake water droplets on the fresh red tomatoes, onions peeking just so out from under a perfectly thick sesame bun.

Of course, nothing's going to look delicious oozing out of a greasy wrapper in a blurry cell phone photo. We wanted to let these burgers stand on their own, with plenty of light and a plain white backdrop.

The results? Predictably, real-life fast food... not looking so delicious next to the ad photography. But look closely, and it's instructive just how the burgers failed to measure up. Wendy's notoriously square burgers? Turns out, they're not so square. And God knows where they get the lettuce for the burgers in their ads -- it's an entirely different sort of vegetable from what they'll hand you at the drive-through window.

Jump for a look at five representative members of the fast food burger family.


The Wendy's Double Baconator

What they sell you...

Fast Food Burger Ads vs. Reality: The Sad, Limp, Under-Lettuced Truth


And what you eat...

Fast Food Burger Ads vs. Reality: The Sad, Limp, Under-Lettuced Truth


The McDonald's Double Quarter-Pounder with Cheese

What they sell you...

Fast Food Burger Ads vs. Reality: The Sad, Limp, Under-Lettuced Truth


And what you eat...

Fast Food Burger Ads vs. Reality: The Sad, Limp, Under-Lettuced Truth


The Whataburger 5-3-1

What they sell you...

Fast Food Burger Ads vs. Reality: The Sad, Limp, Under-Lettuced Truth


And what you eat...

Fast Food Burger Ads vs. Reality: The Sad, Limp, Under-Lettuced Truth


The BK Stacker

What they sell you...

Fast Food Burger Ads vs. Reality: The Sad, Limp, Under-Lettuced Truth


And what you eat...

Fast Food Burger Ads vs. Reality: The Sad, Limp, Under-Lettuced Truth


Burger King's Texas (Double) Whopper

What they sell you...

Fast Food Burger Ads vs. Reality: The Sad, Limp, Under-Lettuced Truth


And what you eat...

Fast Food Burger Ads vs. Reality: The Sad, Limp, Under-Lettuced Truth

Believe it or not, though, they look a lot better piled one on top of the other...

 
Fast Food Burger Ads vs. Reality: The Sad, Limp, Under-Lettuced Truth

And the vegetarian option...

Fast Food Burger Ads vs. Reality: The Sad, Limp, Under-Lettuced Truth

And, for all you lucky ducks still swearing by the Atkins diet, here's one for you...

Fast Food Burger Ads vs. Reality: The Sad, Limp, Under-Lettuced Truth


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