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​/Photo from Jessica's LinkedIn post. ​​​

How Grill’d built Barbie’s real-life ‘dreamhouse’

The fast-food brand took inspiration from the film’s architectural aesthetic.

When Grill’d partnered with Warner Bros. and Mattel together with Grill’d’s partner agency Bastion Experience, to bring Barbie: The Movie to life, Grill’d was determined to turn Australia unapologetically pink to deliver a unique experience to customers.

What was born from this was the creation of the Dreamburgers Diner, where Grill’d turned its Grill’d Galeries location into a portal to Barbie Land. The 

Talking with QSR Media, Jessica Moodie, Partnerships Manager at Grill’d revealed the inspirations behind the designs of the restaurant.

QSR Media: What’s the inspiration behind the ‘Dream’ part of Dreamburgers and Dreamburgers Diner?

Jessica: A nod to Barbie’s famed Dreamhouse, Grill’d’s Barbie Dreamburger taps into the magic of Barbie in a way that makes sense to what customers already know of her and reflects what Grill’d is best known for - healthy burgers that are of course what Barbie’s dreams are made of.

What can you tell us about the features of the Dreamburgers Diner at Grill'd Galeries? 

The Dreamburgers diner transports customers straight to Barbieland, referencing specific scenes from the film with a vibrant, and of course pink, fit-out. As guests make their way through the restaurant, they are immersed in the beach-off scene, the choreographed disco party, Ken’s Corner and Barbie’s own Dreamhouse. Other features include a mini Dreamburgers Diner drive-thru, bespoke Barbie props and bubblegum scent diffusers in the bathroom.

How was this collaboration conceptualised? Who has worked on this to make it come true?

Working with partner agency Bastion Experience, Dreamburgers was conceptualised as a Barbie dreamland that would excite customers and bring the magic of the film to our flagship restaurant in Sydney’s iconic CBD. 

Bastion Experience secured the project via competitive tender and worked closely with Grill’d, Warner Bros. and Mattel to bring the activation to life.

Why has Grill'd collaborated with Warner Bros for Barbie the movie? Any special reasons?

We’ve teamed up with Warner Bros. to bring the world of Barbie to Australia in more ways than one, with the exclusive Barbie Beach Roll at our Sydney Galeries restaurant and our Barbie Dreamburger at all locations across the country. Delivering the Dreamburgers dining experience to Sydney-siders has allowed diners to experience the magic of Barbie: The Movie first-hand. 

Can you tell us what the menu looks like at the Dreamburgers Diner?

At Dreamburgers, customers can try the all-new Barbie Beach Roll - a delicious combination of poached crayfish, pink mayo, crispy Nori, butter lettuce, cucumber, creamy avocado, and playful pink finger lime pearls, all wrapped up in a soft pink roll!

Available at all Grill’d locations, is the Barbie Dreamburger - featuring a juicy beef patty topped with pink mayo, tasty cheese, charred pineapple, avocado, tomato, lettuce, Spanish onion and a splash of tomato sauce. To top it all off, the burger comes in a picture-worthy pink panini bun. 

Why do you think collaborations like this are important for Grill'd?

The release of Barbie: The Movie has spearheaded a cultural phenomenon and moment in time, and it has been a privilege to collaborate with Warner Bros. and Mattel to deliver this experience for our customers. We’re thrilled to be involved, and to bring fans of the film a dining experience that will enhance what is already a major cultural event. 

What role did Bastion play in the launch of the Dreamhouse Diner concept and how did they work together with Grill'd

Bastion Experience was tasked with creating an engaging, memorable space that referenced key visuals and hero characters from the film to generate hype and engagement around the launch of the movie and the brand collaboration with Grill’d.

Grill’d wanted to: turn Australia unapologetically pink, create cultural hype around the brand collaboration, build a space that captured the flavour ferocity of Barbie: The Movie and delivered an experience for customers exclusive to Grill’d. The space also needed to drive mass PR and social coverage, drive footfall into the venue, meet the high-quality production and visual standards of Warner Bros. and encourage the purchase of the exclusive Barbie burger menu; including the Barbie Dreamburger, the Barbie Dreamburger Bundle and the Barbie Beach Roll (the latter only available exclusively at Grill’d Galeries aka Dreamburgers Diner).

Inside the Dreamburger Diner's. /Photo from Jessica's LinkedIn post.

The team developed the concept of Dreamburgers, an imaginary diner that tapped into all the glory of the movie, whilst celebrating Australia’s love of beach culture and the best burgers on offer in our market. This new-world Barbie Land built with a Grill’d edge began at a striking front façade, with an overarching narrative that took you on a journey through the restaurant. The façade was inspired by the film's architectural design aesthetic, of Palm Springs's mid-century modernism, with contrasting Barbie pinks, and whites, glass brick detailing, columns, palm trees and outdoor seating for the ultimate Slim Aarons-esque photo moment.

The iconic Barbie pebble pattern greets you at the front counter with directional signage through to Barbie Beach Way. The branded cabana-style seating included key visuals from the film and props including a Barbie-branded surfboard, inflatable beach accessories and beachwear, instantly transporting guests to a summer afternoon at the beach. Venturing through Barbie Beach Way includes a Dreamburgers Drive-Thru; a stop for an interactive photo moment and a customised seated space. Continuing the diner aesthetic, the Grill’d uniform is on display with takeaway props, printed menu items and branded Impala skates.

Finally reaching Barbie’s Dreamhouse, which includes key visuals from Barbie’s home, transporting guests into the most highly anticipated space in the restaurant. With a photo wall of all the Barbie characters, a selfie generator moment linking to the microsite and customised seating with customised table coverings and pink lamps. The bathrooms also include mirror decals and props encouraging interaction and content creation in every corner of the restaurant.

The team worked to source props that were specific to the film, including branded Impala Skates from the movie that were displayed in the beach cabanas and Dreamburgers Drive Thru. Key props such as the surfboard and pink cola bottles were also customised with Dreamburgers branding and pink liquid to replace the cola. The Bastion team also colour-matched spray paint with specific Pantone colours to customise furniture and styling items such as the table setting and frisbee. The props and styling add to the overall aesthetic of the space, with considered and specific choices to meet the creative briefing objectives from Grill’d, Warner Bros. and Mattel teams.

The Bastion team successfully launched a branded, engaging, and memorable experience. A highly visual, detailed space from the custom-made build to the specific prop and styling inclusions.

How long can customers visit the Barbie-themed diner?

Dreamburgers launched on Tuesday 11 July, and will be open until Monday 14 August.

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