Taco Bell Uses Alaska Town’s Love Of The Chain For New Ad Campaign

There isn’t an ad agency in the world who could dream up a more perfect real-life setting for a feel-good ad campaign than what went down in Bethel, Alaska. Which is why we’re totally unsurprised that Taco Bell has whipped up a new ad featuring the little town that was tricked by fake news of a getting a Taco Bell, only to have the restaurant airlift in 10,000 Doritos Locos tacos.

The new ad shows the collective emotional journey of excitement, disappointment and unbridled taco joy the town went through in its 30 seconds, but there’s also a longer sort of “behind the story” video on Taco Bell’s YouTube to make sure we all know just how fantastic it was for the residents to finally get their mouths on some tacos.

Whoever that original trickster was plastering flyers all around town about the fake Taco Bell arriving, we’re sure the company would like to give you a hearty high five for such a perfect  opportunity to spread the warm fuzzy fast food feelings.

Watch both the ad and the behind-the-scenes video below.

*Thanks for the heads up, Erie!


Edit Your Comment

  1. RedOryx says:

    Hmmmm. What are the chances the “original trickster” was indeed Taco Bell specifically to be able to do this publicity stunt?

  2. Taylor Rolyat says:

    The original marketing ploy, er, I mean, hoax, smells awfully fishy now. I always thought it was strange that someone would put so much effort into fooling thousands of people for zero gain to themselves.

    • dpeters11 says:

      There would be gain. Entertainment.

    • LuzioFantazmic says:

      I remember in my younger days doing plenty of things that netted zero gain for me other than sitting back and watch others be fooled.

      Could have easily been a bunch of high school kids doing this just to get their friends get all worked up over something that was never going to happen.

      • Taylor Rolyat says:

        But again, this hoax was beyond elaborate, with hundreds of flyers on every bulleting board in town and a fake website. Unless these pranksters were honor roll students, it still seems to time-intensive for it to be just one or two meddlin’ kids


        • andsowouldi says:

          There is no limitation on what some people will do for the lulz.

        • dcatz says:

          Well it’s not like there is a lot to do in Bethel, AK.

        • DaveInBillsburg says:

          If it was honor roll students, maybe they should have put their effort into creating a Taco place right in Bethel. If the town was this cuckoo for Taco Bell, I’m sure some aspiring youth could open a Taco stand in the town, looks like it could be a money maker for them.

        • Sparkstalker says:

          The thing I think that lends credence to this is that it’s a small town and there was a lot of effort involved, yet no one knows who did it. You’d think that someone would have seen a kid they know putting up a flyer if there were that many…

    • sspdak says:

      I grew up in Alaska and I can’t count the number of times that a ‘Coming Soon’ sign was posted on old buildings for Krispy Cremes, Target, etc. Such is life up there, and this really isn’t out of the norm.

  3. SerenityDan says:

    “There isn’t an ad agency in the world who could dream up a more perfect real-life setting for a feel-good ad campaign than what went down in Bethel, Alaska” I suspect there is. Even before Taco Bell got involved directly it smelled fishy. Well fishier than Alaska usually smells anyway.

  4. acatchyscreenname says:

    It’s a great story and I have no problem with Taco Bell making an ad out of it. It was a nice thing to do for the community of Bethel.

    • cosby says:

      Yea I see it as them cashing in on a prank trying to make the best out of it. Personally I say good for them and I’m sure the community was happy with the gesture.

  5. Telekinesis123 says:

    Tomorrows news:

    Town of Bethel Alaska is stricken by mysterious diarrhea epidemic, more at 6.

  6. sparc says:

    very nice, but taco bell has become fairly overpriced.

    • deejmer says:

      This ^…….. I was going to get a ‘cheap’ meal for my family during a work-day at my house (didn’t have time to cook , or leave for a sit-down restaurant meal). For 3 adults and 2 children I spent $45. WTF. We should have gone to a local bar&grill to get a sandwich. Hell..we could have had beers too and come in under that. Lesson learned. McDs by the way is overpriced shit too.

      • StarKillerX says:


        What did you buy at Taco Bell that cost $45 to feed 5 people, two of which were children?

        • YouDidWhatNow? says:

          No sh1t. That’s insane. Two $5 boxes for the adults and a couple tacos each for the kids – less than $20 in all likelihood.

      • RedOryx says:

        Yeah. That’s outrageous. Because, seriously, how the hell did you spend $45 at Taco Bell?

    • Draw2much says:

      Maybe it depends on where you are? We have those $2 meals here, along with the $5 boxes…. it’s the cheapest fast food place to eat in my town….

  7. Torchwood says:

    So, what else is there to do in Bethel, Alaska?

  8. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    *watches video*

    I want to commute via dogsled!!

  9. PragmaticGuy says:

    If you watch Flying Wild Alaska on TLC or Discovery, I forget which, the airline that is featured has a base in Bethel. And there’s not a whole lot to do there. Eating snow and dog sledding come to mind.

  10. DaveInBillsburg says:

    What I want to know, wouldn’t the Mayor of Bethel have to know if a Taco Bell was really opening in his town? Wouldn’t the company have to file a bunch of permits and such if they were planning on opening in the town? It’s not like they would just open a Taco bell in an existing building, they would want to build their own building.

    I’m thinking that if Taco Bell did the original prank (though, other than to shoot an add, can’t see the value in it) Mr Mayor was in on it. If Taco Bell did this, it may generate a small uptick in sales? Stranger things have happened.

  11. DaveInBillsburg says:

    Who else thinks that maybe Taco Bell is considering starting a food truck service in certain areas. Couldn’t you see those van being driven around cities that have a high concentration of young workers, or maybe cruising around college campuses bar areas late on Friday nights. Think the concept might be successful.

  12. StarKillerX says:

    Told you!

  13. Buzz says:

    Anybody noticed that they changed the way the grilled chicken taste? About a month ago, they changed. No flavor at all!!! Using a new supplier? A chicken soft taco also looks smaller than before. I guess I’ll give more of my business to the local Taco joint. Anybody listening up there in research & failment?

  14. Draw2much says:

    Eeeeeh….. I don’t care if it’s a publicity stunt or not, it’s still pretty cool. XD

  15. do-it-myself says:

    Of course they made an ad out of it! But I never thought it could have been an inside job….until now.

  16. Overman says:

    People in Alaska have no idea what a taco is anyway.
    No cheese or lettuce.
    It makes me sad to think about it…