Restaurant brands are distancing themselves from ad campaigns that feature perfectly staged photography, opting instead to garner engagement using a more organic look and feel, according to AdWeek.
While the off-the-cuff aesthetic is becoming especially prevalent on social-media channels like Instagram, it’s seeping into campaigns in print and other media as well. "We kind of call it 'perfectly imperfect,'" Nathan Iverson, executive vice president and design director at ad agency Deutsch LA, told AdWeek. "People will call you out pretty easily if your food looks overly propped or overly perfect, because that's not how it is."
Taco Bell, in particular, has seen advertising success by "behaving like a fan," Iverson noted. Photography centered around “post-purchase moments”—such as friends enjoying tacos at the beach—projects a more natural aesthetic that resonates with the intended audience.
For Wendy’s, tailoring a more professional look on social media has been central to the brand’s revamp strategy. Beginning last month, it’s taken special care to craft a tasteful yet seemingly homespun presence on Instagram and other platforms, Digiday reports.
“Instagram is the under-34 powerhouse platform at the moment, so we feel it deserves special attention,” Brandon Rhoten, Wendy’s vice president of digital, told Digiday. “Our testing has shown Instagram, when we have the right creative, improves people’s perceptions of the brand. Earlier, it wasn’t really differentiating us from anyone else. You couldn’t tell it was us.”