Can you spot the grammar fail in this Burger King ad?

Burger King ad screenshot featuring a man eating a whopper with the text 'JK you ate 'em both"
(Image credit: Burger King)

Ah, grammar. There a few subjects that inspire as much perfectionism (or is that pedantry?), and like all writers, it pains me to see a misplaced apostrophe out in the wild. But it isn't often we see one in a major ad campaign for one of the world's biggest brands.

A Burger King ad is under fire for its egregious apostrophe use. In the phrase “JK YOU ATE ‘EM BOTH," the apostrophe should be closed, not open, to signify that it's shortening the word 'them'. Sure, it's hardly a whopper of a mistake, but some think it's part of a growing trend of incorrect apostrophe use. (Looking for design inspiration? Check out the best print ads of all time.)

In a scathing, nay, searing peace, Washington Post columnist John Kelly cries, "Burger King, the erroneous apostrophe in your TV ad is killing me." Indeed, as Kelly insists, the apostrophe should be shaped like a nine, not a six. "Look, I don’t care if civilians get it wrong," Kelly declares. "But Burger King is a multibillion-dollar company that presumably paid millions of dollars to a big ad agency to come up with that commercial. And they don’t bother to get it right?"

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We've seen quote marks used the wrong way around intentionally to generate a specific effect in the new Glassdoor logo, but Burger King has no such excuse. Still, at least it can take some solace from the fact that this is hardly the biggest fast food advertising blunder we've seen. From McDonald's crematorium-adjacent ad to Burger King's own Pride fail, we've seen some clangers in recent years.

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Daniel John
Senior News Editor

Daniel John is Senior News Editor at Creative Bloq. He reports on the worlds of art, design, branding and lifestyle tech (which often translates to tech made by Apple). He joined in 2020 after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more.