Brands should obviously do considerable research into anything where their brand might be able to do something good for the community, and then shoot it for posterity if it makes good content. For instance, Taco Bell heard that the people of Bethel, Alaska were disappointed to learn that the announcement of a Taco Bell store landing in their fair town was a hoax. So, Taco Bell caught wind of the story and decided to do something good, by airlifting a Taco Bell truck into Bethel and shoot a commercial showing the good deed. Of course, to get said truck, the citizens of Bethel had to agree that to appear in it and show that Taco Bell was the best thing they'd ever eaten.
Taco Bell Discovers Bethel, Alaska
You can probably come up with a lot of reasons why this gesture might not be entirely on the level, or seems a little silly, but in the end, it's a taco truck being airlifted by a helicopter and it's good content, despite what you might ultimately feel as far as motives are concerned:
That's the longer ad, with the people of Bethel giving their account of the phantom Taco Bell. Those add the human element to a 30 second commercial on TV, where they basically say, "It was a hoax, here's a truck full of tacos, look how happy everyone is."
The one thing that I kept thinking with this is that it seems like that Simpsons episode where Otto the bus driver comes by with a swimming pool during a hot summer and lets kids play in it for awhile. Then he has to take it away. He says, "One day of summer is all we're budgeted for…I guess it is kind of a tease."
As expected, Taco Bell has "no plans to build a Bethel store" as of now. But hey, maybe Bethel is finally on the radar of fast food companies wanting to expand further. It also should spark ideas for brands looking for ways to make content. This Taco Bell ad is a genre that I've seen a few times, where a brand takes over a block of a city and sells their stuff, like we saw with the Intuit ads a month or so ago, where they basically created two-for-one branded content:
This is creating an event where you bring the product to the consumer, as opposed to consumer trying to find you. Then, not squandering the opportunity to shoot a video of it. It's good publicity when you can offer community service with your product and can find great content out of it. You don't even have to be Taco Bell.