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New Experiment Compares Fast-Food Ads With Reality

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It is far from a new discovery: The meal that you receive from a fast-food chain usually looks nothing like the same meal as advertised on TV or online. But have you ever asked a restaurant employee to take the food back and essentially remake it so that the actual burger looks like the one in the photo on the packaging?

Serial prankster and YouTube aficionado Greg Benson did just that in his latest upload, and it has already been viewed more than 2 million times since Sunday.

"I'd say that I eat fast food four to five times a year," Benson told Trending Now on Skype. "It's a special occasion for me."

In this instance, the occasion was to film "Fast Food ADS vs. REALITY Experiment." In the three-and-a-half-minute piece, Benson travels to McDonald's, Burger King, Jack in the Box, and Wendy's. With a hidden camera, the filmmaker orders an item from the menu. He then goes to his table and compares the item he receives with the item that's shown in a photo.

Benson orders a Big Mac, Bacon Cheeseburger Deluxe, tacos, and a half-pound double cheeseburger. None of the actual items looks like its photographed counterpart. In each instance, Benson returns to the counter and shows a photo of the food to the employee and asks him or her to remake the food so that it matches the photo.

"Nobody gave me a hard time about it," Benson said of the restaurant workers. "I was really delighted that they were all so amenable and able to make it right."

And make it right they did — with the remakes looking similar to the photographed food. "The second version took as long as the first version," he said. "I think the video proves that it's possible" to create a more appealing product.

Benson also cited comments from viewers abroad who note that in their countries, the food is always served in the same fashion as it's advertised. While the remakes tasted the same as the first food items, that was not really the point of Benson's story.

"There's a lot to be said for presentation and accountability for their own advertising."

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