As far as customer service stunts go, this one was pretty epic: In 2012, a helicopter was sent to a remote Alaska town bearing a Taco Bell truck, which in turn was bearing ingredients for 10,000 Doritos Locos tacos.
The 6,200 townspeople of Bethel in the distant western stretches of the state got this long-distance delivery after the Irvine-based fast-food company took pity on them.
A month prior to the stunt, fliers trumpeting the chain’s debut in Bethel got residents salivating. After all, cheap Mexican-style food in the land of sled dogs and sub-zero temperatures isn’t exactly easy to come by. (The nearest Taco Bell is some 400 miles away in Anchorage.)
Instead of seasoned beef, Bethel citizens ended up with the taste of dust when the promise of Taco Bell turned out to be a hoax.
When Taco Bell executives learned of the cruel joke, they sent a free consolation package bearing 950 pounds of beef, 500 pounds of sour cream, 300 pounds of tomatoes, 300 pounds of lettuce and 150 pounds of cheddar cheese.
The effort, which Taco Bell dubbed “Operation Alaska,” was hugely popular – both in Bethel and on social media, garnering thousands of Facebook likes.
That’s how you make a WOW! entrance.
Gordon Conner is a Branding Consultant/Coach and Copywriter who helps build WOW brands for small local businesses. He has been providing advertising, marketing, branding and copywriting services for 39 years and lives in Midlothian, Virginia. He can be reached at Gordon@BranWorks.com, or www.BranWorks.com.