Revealed: why McDonald's burgers look so different in the ads

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A still from the film: the 'after' shot
A still from the film: the 'after' shot

It's no secret the McDonald's burgers pictured on the menu and in advertisments rarely look like the real thing.

The buns are plump and firm, the lettuce glistens and each layer is distinguishable from the rest.

Unsurprisingly, the food we see on the menu and in ads has been carefully created from scratch to look perfect.

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A new short film created by McDonald's in Canada however shows how a regular limp-looking burger can be transformed into the photogenic model we see in the ads.

In film the McDonald's Canada Marketing Manager Hope Bagozzi responds to a question sent in by a customer named Isabel who asks 'why does your food look different in the advertising than it does in the store?'

A still from the film: the 'before' shot
A still from the film: the 'before' shot

To show her, Hope buys a Quarter Pounder from her local outlet and takes it to advertising agency Watt International, where it undergoes a careful reconstruction.

A food stylist, photographer and image retoucher recreate the burger to look like something you'd see up in lights on the menu.

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In the video Hope discloses that it takes several hours to put together the promotional burgers, hardly making it 'fast food'.

While all the same ingredients are used, a food stylist will painstakingly assemble a burger so that all the ingredients are on show, tweezing on the onion and syringing in the ketchup.

A still from the film: rebuilding the burger
A still from the film: rebuilding the burger

The stylist will use a hot knife to melt the cheese slice's corners to an appetising downward curl.

After hours of work the final step is image retouching with Photoshop, ensuring there are no blemishes on the perfect burger.

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Watch the video to see how it's done:

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