A quarter pounder with cheese bought from McDonald's (left side of picture) is compared with one created for a photo shoot.

Ever wonder why your quarter pounder looks nothing like the one on the commercials?

Hint: the camera-ready quarter pounder takes hours to construct with a team of Toronto-based experts armed with a syringe, a heat gun and Photoshop, of course.

In an unusual step, a McDonald's flack in Toronto posted a YouTube video to try to explain why their burgers look so much better on TV. The video has gone viral with nearly 1.6 million hits.

In the clip, Hope Bagozzi, director of marketing for McDonald's Canada, orders a quarter pounder with cheese in store and compares it to a food stylist-crafted burger.

In store, Bagozzi said, the burgers take about a minute to slap together, while it takes a food stylist several hours to meticulously craft the camera-ready sandwich. The expert in the video carefully puts the pickles and onions toward the outer edge of the burger and uses a syringe to squirt the condiments on it. He also uses a heat gun to delicately melt the cheese. The image is then Photoshopped to fix any blemishes on the bun, correct any out-of-place sesame seeds or toppings and boost the colour.

As for the size discrepancies between the tiny in-store burger and large expert-made sandwich, Bagozzi claims the heat trapped in the cardboard box after preparation causes the bun to shrink.