The Most Over-The-Top Marketing Stunt Taco Bell Has Ever Pulled

Located 400 miles from Alaska's most populous city of Anchorage, the town of Bethel, Alaska isn't accessible by road. To get in or out of the town, you have to travel by air or by boat. Still, the nearly 6,000 people who live there year-round (via Only In Your State) get by, but it often means limited options, especially when it comes to fast food. So when residents started seeing flyers pop up presenting the possibility of a Taco Bell restaurant finally arriving in their little neck of the woods, the townspeople rejoiced — Tacos are coming! Tacos are coming!

But alas, the flyers ended up being part of a prank set up by a group of teenagers (via Time Magazine). According to the LA Times, fortunately for Bethelians, Taco Bell's corporate offices caught wind of the joke and decided to take matters into their own hands. Enter "Operation Alaska."

Taco Bell literally went 'over-the-top' with a taco truck

In an equally amazing feat of both marketing genius and aerodynamics, Taco Bell airlifted a taco truck into Bethel via helicopter, complete with what the LA Times reported was "950 pounds of beef, 500 pounds of sour cream, 300 pounds of tomatoes, 300 pounds of lettuce, and 150 pounds of cheddar cheese," all with which to make some seriously delicious grub for the taco-deprived residents of Bethel. One happy diner told the staff she hadn't eaten Taco Bell for more than 20 years. Another townsperson showed up in a sombrero (via Facebook). Revelry reigned supreme.

Not only did Bethelians get to chow down on delicious Mexican food, Taco Bell received incredible publicity from the stunt. The picture on social media of the taco truck being carried in by helicopter currently has 9,500 likes, but despite the marketing gains from the event, a little old-fashioned goodwill was also involved (via Facebook). "If we can feed people in Afghanistan and Iraq, we can feed people in Bethel," Taco Bell's Chief Executive Greg Creed told the Associated Press (via the LA Times). Unfortunately, post-taco truck treat, it seems Bethel, Alaska won't be getting its own Taco Bell restaurant any time soon, as there are no plans to open one in the remote town (via Entrepreneur).