What was reported as a hoax in a small town in Alaska has become a public relations opportunity for Taco Bell.
Earlier this year, someone started spreading rumors in Bethel, Alaska — population 6,000 — that a Taco Bell was coming to town. According to news reports, residents were deeply disappointed to learn it wasn’t true.
Opening a Taco Bell restaurant was not viable in a small town accessible only by boat or air, and hours away from the hub of Anchorage, company officials said. So Taco Bell did the next best thing: “Operation: Alaska.”
The Irvine, Calif.-based chain airlifted in a taco truck and gave away an estimated 10,000 of its new Doritos Locos Tacos to Bethel residents before returning the truck to California.
The “Operation: Alaska" event was turned into a short film and 30-second commercial (watch both videos at left). The latter aired for the first time Wednesday night during the Major League Baseball All-Star game.
Taco Bell officials said they never found out who was responsible for the initial prank.