Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What You See Is What You Get?


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Another guest post by Dana


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We've all seen them - the remarkable "before" and "after" shots in diet industry ads.

It's the best way for promoters of weight loss pills, diet plans and exercise gadgets to sell their products, right? A visual example of how you will look if ...

Here's a short clip, taken from the documentary-style film, "Bigger, Stronger, Faster" that shows the "reality" of many of these before/after shots .





We all know before/after are altered to some degree, but shot on the same day? Really?

I suppose the disclaimer "Results are not typical" should be enough, but "Results are not real - photos were taken the same day" might be more ethical.

What do you think? False advertising or creative license?

*A special thanks to Curvy Jones for the inspiration behind this post*

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22 comments:

Evil Twin's Wife said...

One of the many things I learned along the way getting my degree in Advertising Journalism is "Caveat Emptor" (Let the Buyer beware). As consumers, we need to be educated on the many tricks advertising uses to get people to buy things. It's par for the course in the advertising world.

Lynette said...

Can I get a photoshop in my closet so I look good everyday too?

Jay said...

I guess anyone who believes any of those diet supplement ads gets what they deserve when they spend all that money on them and it doesn't work.

Mike Golch said...

This is SO GETTING SWIPED!!!!!

Boonsong said...

Hi
Re, "It's the best way for promoters of weight loss pills, diet plans and exercise gadgets to sell their products, right?" - leave 'em all alone. Dig your garden, go for a run, eat sensibly, etc etc. That's the way to get in shape. Don't be taken in by charlatans who want to sell you something that you can do for yourself for free.

Have a nice day, Boonsong

Dana said...

Evil Twin's Wife, is there no such thing as ethical advertising? I don't think I could work in that industry!

Lynette, I was thinking along the lines of a photoshop doorway. Every time I walk out my door I'm photoshopped to look my best!

Jay, the diet/exercise industry is a HUGE money-making entity. I think there are a lot of people claiming they don't buy into it who secretly do.

Dana said...

Mike Golch, swipe away!

Boonsong, this isn't about whether or not diet/exercise promises work - we all know it's about eating less and exercising more. We also know that they take in BILLIONS of dollars every year even though everyone knows they don't work. My concern is more of an ethics in advertising issue.

SkylersDad said...

I find it quite funny that the after shots of women almost always seem to have their boobs done. How does that work through pills exactly?

Mike said...

I need somebody to figure out how to photoshop me in real life. I wonder if that would hurt?

LSL said...

I really appreciate you posting this! I consider myself to be of average intelligence, but it's easy to see an image in a magazine and wish I looked like "that." I remember my Ad Psych teacher holding up a gorgeous picture of Christy Brinkley (it was a long time ago :>) from a magazine and asking us, "Who in the world looks like this?" and then saying, "If you even said, "Christy Brinkley", you're wrong."

Karen said...

Doesn't really surprise me. I think if you really thought those before and after photos were genuine, you'd be more than a little naive.

we're doomed said...

Before and after pictures shot the same day! Now I'm starting to have doubts about Santa Claus. Yikes

Dana said...

SkylersDad it's an optical illusion ... because the waist is smaller the boobs seem bigger! You're not buying that are you?

Mike, I'm thinking if I just take a growth hormone for the next year, adding 12" or so to my height, I will be just fine!

LSL, I expected some retouching. I think we've all learned that usually happens. But complete morphing of a a body??

Dana said...

Karen, I didn't expect the before/after photos to be without touch-up, but I didn't expect them to be shot on the same day either!

we're doomed, and what about the tooth fairy???

Real Live Lesbian said...

I had no idea it could happen in the same day! I'd like that photographer's name!

Jackie-VA said...

I've worked many years in the TV industry and there are sooo many things people don't know about! Advertising is just one of the areas where lying is the greatest paid job.
Just pay attention to the people that are on the "after" shots. At least this guy was the same guy! There is a trade that no matter how "thin" you get, your belly button should not change from "inny" to "outty" and for the guys, the nipples get so different too... I'm very skeptical and it was the great to get paid so much money to lie... I actually miss the money :=(

yogurt said...

I like the before-after diet pills where the before is a 5 mos pregnant woman and the after is the woman after she's had the baby and with better posture.

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RiverPoet said...

Um, wow. I feel so much better now! I just need a little airbrushing, a spray-on tan, and Photoshop. LOL!

Another Suburban Mom said...

This was very educational. I knew that there was a bunch of photoshopping but I had no idea it was manipulated right from the start.

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