One of the frequent questions surrounding celebrity commercials and endorsements is whether or not the paid spokesperson actually uses the product he or she is selling. Does LeBron James really drive a Kia? Does Michael Phelps actually eat Subway sandwiches? OK, Tom Brady probably wears UGG boots.

But a new Carl’s Jr. ad featuring Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley should probably call into question whether or not he really eats those cheeseburgers. Or even whether or not he even takes a bite out of one.

Check out the commercial, in which Gurley appears to be taking a bite out of something. But if it’s a burger, it’s not actually the one in his right hand.

OK, the questionable bite happens pretty quickly, so maybe you didn’t notice anything wrong the first time you watched the video. But watch it again. And maybe a second or third time.

The burger doesn’t move. The bun, meat and toppings don’t bend or push out at all, as they likely would when taking a bite from a stacked cheeseburger. The burger is just there, like a photograph.


As PetaPixel illustrates, the exact same still photo used for a close-up of that Classic California Double Cheeseburger is the exact same image standing in for whatever Gurley is pretending to put in his mouth. Did the real thing just not look good on camera? After a couple of takes, did the director just give up? Were there not more burgers on hand to use for filming? Did Gurley lose his appetite sharing the scene with Jay Mohr?

On Thursday, Gurley took over the Carl’s Jr. Instagram feed and didn’t provide any contrary evidence that shows him actually enjoying the product which he’s endorsing.

Cali blue skies got me like…. 🌴🏄☀️ – TG @tg4hunnid #ToddGurleyTakeover #CaliClassic

A photo posted by Carl’s Jr. (@carlsjr) on

I mean, that’s not convincing at all. Even the supermodels Carl’s Jr. usually puts in their ads, who are probably taking their only bite of a cheeseburger  — or even solid food — for that calendar year, actually bite into the cheeseburger they’re promoting. And that’s even when the beastly burger barely fits into their dainty hand!

To be fair, Gurley is probably participating in offseason workouts with the Rams right now, so scarfing down a heavy cheeseburger likely isn’t a good idea. And maybe it’s not a good idea for him at all if he wants to stay in playing shape. Does Gurley lay off the red meat? Is he a vegetarian, as Adweek joked?

But is it too much to ask for a guy promoting a cheeseburger to actually take a satisfying bite out of it? Let’s see some of that ketchup and mustard run down his hand. What if he wipes his mouth after chomping a piece from that cheeseburger? I mean, at least we see Tom Brady wear those Ugg boots, right?

Unless… is that a digital photo laid over Brady’s actual feet? Gurley and Carl’s Jr. are suddenly making us question everything we see in advertising.


About Ian Casselberry

Ian is a writer, editor, and podcaster. You can find his work at Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He's written for Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation.