Why Do McDonald’s Burgers Look Different in Ads vs. What We Buy?


Do you ever see a McDonald’s ad and wonder what those big, thick burgers are made with . . . particularly given the flat burgers you get out of a McDonald’s to-go bag?

It has to be a different kind of meat, buns and toppings, right?

Actually, it’s all about the photography and prepping those same ingredients for the photo shoot. Check out the video below with Hope Bagozzi, Director of Marketing for McDonald’s Canada as she walks us through what goes into a Quarter Pounder with Cheese photo shoot.

[via woordup. Thanks for the tip Clay.]



  1. says

    It is good to see them responding to a customers question and trying to answer it while still looking good in the process. Better than what most businesses do!

  2. Mark says

    This is not a photographic issue but an issue of fraud: I promise you X (here’s the photo) and you get Y (reality).

  3. Rich says

    I agree it amounts to some actual deception.

    I don’t think anything the photographer is doing is deceptive. Its all the real stuff and not, by photoshopping comparisions unduly manipulated in to a level that rises to deception.

    However, when the seller does some of the behind the scenes things it acknowledges in the segment, I think the seller is doing something that rises to a bit of sales deception.

    1) Did you notice they almost assuredly didn’t really cook the patty? The browned it on the side, as they showed. This leaves the meat not cooked down, as it would be in real life and for health reasons. Therefore it looks like a thicker cooked patty than it is. Trickery, deception.

    2) While you you might be able to order and extra cheese patty, the regular burger has one slice on top. The pictured one has cheese oozing out on top and bottom. Again, provides an image you don’t get with the real off the shelf version.

    So, cook the burger down to its real “served” thickness and one slice of cheese and the rest of the photographic prettying up is ok. But, is going to look about half as appetizing too.