The Art of Deceptive Advertising: Quick Review of False & Misleading Tricks Used In Ads

thumbnailIf you drool over that gleaming pure honey flowing over steamy mashed potato you’ve seen on TV, hold your horses. You’re likely salivating over motor oil and freshly microwaved wet tampon placed behind the potato. These are some of the common techniques used by ad people to make products more visually tantalizing in advertisements. Other tricks include:

– Use of hairspray to make fruits and vegetables appear fresh
– Replacing actual ice cream with mashed potato for a more solid appearance
– Putting antacids to create fizzle in soda

To show the disparity between ads and actual products, our researchers found an infographic that compares the fake shoot and real product of popular food, hotel and fashion brands. Alarmingly, the actual items look a lot different from their ads.

Sometimes the fake out is funny especially in hotels and resorts. For example, an ad shows an infinity pool using a low angle, but in truth, the pool is more like an oversized jacuzzi. You’ll find more hilarious if not annoying hotel ads in the infographic.

You’re also probably familiar with the extensive “photoshopping” of makeup or fashion models until they appear emaciated humans who barely resemble normal beings.

If you think these little trade tricks are harmless or at least irritating because you’ve been had, the American Medical Association thinks they have serious consequences. It believes these ads of unrealistic body images are linked to eating disorders and “other child and adolescent health problems.”

We have regulations that monitor fake advertising in the U.S., but clearly, we need more. In the meantime, big and small companies owe it to the American consumers, the lifeblood of their business, to only show ads that truly represent their product or service.

CHECK OUT THE INFOGRAPHIC TO FIND WHAT OTHER TRICKS ADS USE TO FOOL US:

art-of-deception

Here’s McDonald’s comment on how they take photos of their products and why they differ from the actual food sold in their restaurants:

 

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Raw data that we used: