A Michelin-Starred Chef Brings Gourmet Items to Burger King

Michel Sarran normally serves critically acclaimed dishes at his flagship Michelin-starred restaurant in Toulouse, France, where his attention to detail and the dining experience are both legendary.

But what would happen if the chef showed up in an entirely different environment, taking his outsized talent to a quick-service restaurant like Burger King France? The first and perhaps most important result: Gourmet burgers are now available, made with ingredients and combinations not often found on a fast-food menu.

And second, there are also shocked employees and confused consumers who aren’t prepared for Sarran’s exacting standards, according to a cheeky ad campaign from Buzzman.

The campaign launched with a 30-second TV spot and two 30-second films shared online. One shows Sarran in a Burger King trying to get the perplexed staff to follow the French kitchen brigade system and answer his requests with “yes, chef.”

Workers are exasperated by his orders, from how long the buns should be toasted—16 seconds, not 15—to how the arugula should be placed on the burger. Everyone rolls their eyes when he says, “I want to feel emotion in the plates.”

As for customers who want to personalize their orders, skipping the arugula or adding extra cheese? “Non,” says Sarran, who demands that his burgers be served exactly as he designed them.

The campaign also incorporates out-of-home elements showing negative feedback from Sarran on the ads’ visuals, where he asks Burger King to shrink its logo and make the sandwich bigger. Because of his temperament, it might be a good thing when Sarran leaves next month, the ads suggest with a wink.

“When Burger King came to us with this collaboration proposal, the first thing we imagined was this gourmet chef in the middle of a fast-food chain’s kitchen,” Buzzman creative directors Julien Doucet and Lilian Moine told Adweek. “This image, this discrepancy, immediately made us laugh. We wanted to keep this incongruity throughout the campaign, while adding the demands of a chef who sticks his nose everywhere, even in customers’ burgers. In the end, I think the originality of the campaign lies in the Burger King team members, the harassed customers and the unbearable Michelin-starred chef.”

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