A Few Things and a Question

Here are a couple funny TV spots for the LA County Fair (via).

I have to admit I find some of the Andy Milonakis show funny (he’s the kid from the Superbowl is Gay (.wmv) meme), but most of the time it’s just sad. This Anti-Milonakis Show parody sums it up quite well.

My completely non-sequitur question is this… Why do Asian restaurants (yup, I’m making a big generalization here) typically feel the need to use photographs of their food in nearly every piece of advertising on their store? There are a few large American restaurant chains that use food photos prominently on menus and advertising, such as Denny’s and Friendlys* not to mention the fast food chains like McDonalds. Why is it so common at Asian places? Do similar restaurants in their native China and Japan also use photos on their food (I could use some input here from people who have recently been to said countries)? Can anyone come up with a good explanation? My guess is that it’s partially mimicking an American aesthetic, and partially a cultural gap (because the majority of the time, these photos do not make the food look any more appetizing).

After a couple fruitless attempts at Googling an answer to the above, I came across this amusing phone prank.

* Do any of you West-coasters know what Friendly’s is?

5 thoughts on “A Few Things and a Question

  1. Chris

    Having been to Taiwan and Japan, I can say that’s definitely a tradition coming from home countries. If anything, you see fewer picture menus here than there, and Japan goes a step further, with even more unappetizing (often sun-faded, dusty) plastic food outside many restaurants.

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  2. melanie

    I would also have to say that it’s because most americans wouldn’t know what they were ordering if there wasn’t a picture of it. Who would know what moo goo gai pan was if they didn’t show you?

    Reply
  3. The Admiral

    gotta agree with both comments. i’d assume it’s a mere tradional thing that the american chains have carried over. i ate 90% of my meals in restaurants when we lived in japan, and maybe 2% of them didn’t have a picture. like chris said, an even more common thing in asia are the plastic food displays, placed outside every restaurant (litterally), giving you a full view of what your food will look like.

    it helped us out a lot, as the menu’s themselves were in japanese, and we had no idea what we were ordering. i actually kind of miss it… seeing what the food will look like was a nice little bonus when choosing a meal.

    Reply
  4. The Admiral

    ah crap, i forgot to close my html. imagine the italics stops after the word “didn’t”, as i was trying to emphasize the fact that most of them “did”.

    Reply

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