Are You a Pyromaniac? Burger King Is Hiring, Say Incendiary Print Ads

German campaign stokes brand's ongoing obsession with fire

Burger King Germany
Headshot of Patrick Coffee

Burger King has a message for young people in Germany who like to play with fire: Apply for a job today!

The fast-food chain that never shows any fear of getting burned turns up the heat once again in its latest campaign. A series of print and out-of-home ads by Hamburg’s Grabarz & Partner capture visually striking moments of passion, pageantry and protest around the world that were all made possibly by man’s unending efforts to tame the flames.

The campaign almost feels like photojournalism. The subjects of the images include soccer fans brandishing their Bengal lights; a fire festival in Valencia, Spain; a flame-breather demanding improved living conditions in Brazil; and a masked anti-globalist armed with a classic Molotov cocktail.

The ads direct readers to, which redirects to BK Germany’s jobs page.

Yet, while the campaign looks to establish the chain as an edgy employer, it all goes back to those burgers.

“Burger King is all about flame grilling,” Grabarz & Partner art director Matthias Preuss and copywriter Kai Reuther told AdFreak in an email. “This is also the main difference from our competitors, and therefore it should be part of every communication—especially when it comes to a recruitment campaign. Since Burger King is active in a highly competitive market, we have to be bold and stand out to get new employees.”

The fact that some of these images are heavily politicized is no accident. “We wanted to choose relevant topics for younger people; that’s why we came up with these [themes],” Preuss and Reuther say. “In addition, picking up polarizing [themes] result in more attention for our campaign.”

Viewers may also note a thematic link between these ads and 2017’s “Burning Stores” campaign by David Miami, which showed real-life Burger King locations destroyed by fire. (That work went on to win the Print Grand Prix at Cannes Lions last summer.)

Asked whether the new effort was inspired by or tied to last year’s work, the creatives said, “Yes and no. Yes, because the campaign follows a Burger King tradition of going to places that other advertisers wouldn’t touch. And no, because this is a recruitment campaign. … The thing that unites both campaigns [is] fire, and a unique and bold way to communicate.”

The work will appear on a series of billboards near prominent landmarks, with full-page print ads running in top German pop culture publications like 11 Freunde, Musikexpress and “heavy metal bible” Metal Hammer.

Client: Burger King Germany
Agency: Grabarz & Partner Werbeagentur GmbH
Campaign: “Love Fire”

Chief Creative Officer: Ralf Heuel
Group Creative Director: Tobias Ahrens
Creative Directors: Jakob Eckstein (Copy), Matthias Preuss (Art)
Art Directors: Jan Stempfle, Kaloyan Yanev
Copywriter: Kai Reuter
Strategist: Tim Mangels
Buyers: Garnet Mathiessen, Lara Kortbrae

Media: Vizeum Germany

PR: Emanate Germany

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.