That gong you simply heard? You already know it because the signature sound of Taco Bell from its commercials, however now it additionally summons friends to The Bell: A Taco Bell Lodge and Resort.
The over-the-top experiential advertising and marketing expertise is open for simply 4 days within the desert east of Los Angeles, taking up a boutique setting and remaking it within the model’s personal quirky, sauce- and sass-filled picture.
(Technically all of it kicked off with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to formally launch The Bell, however the gong was ever-present, making a Pavlovian response from the few hundred folks there Thursday and Friday).
On Thursday, the Irvine-based model packed The Bell for the primary of 4 nights that the pop-up will likely be working in Palm Springs, and Adweek was there for all of the festivities. The lineup included meals tastings (introduced, in fact, by gong), synchronized swimmers in hot-sauce fits, a poolside live performance by Fletcher, a “freeze” lounge, a slew of Baja Blast variations and extra selfies than anybody may presumably depend.
First, a couple of stats: the 70 rooms at The Bell, normally often called the four-star V Palm Springs, bought out in two minutes to followers from 21 states, based on the model, which hasn’t introduced any future plans for lodgings (a la its everlasting wedding ceremony chapel in Las Vegas). Temperature in Palm Springs: 110 within the shade. Nobody appeared to thoughts.
It’s who you recognize?
Since tickets have been powerful to come back by (and gawkers who tried to crash have been turned away on the door), what did it take to be invited to the lodge on its opening evening?
Media—Los Angeles Occasions, BuzzFeed, Tastemade, native tv stations, and yours really from Adweek—occupied loads of the house, as did hard-core followers who have been extraordinarily fast on the draw when reservations grew to become obtainable.
Then there have been mega-influencers like Jeffree Star, a make-up artist who counts no less than 40 million social media followers amongst Twitter, YouTube and different platforms.
T.L. Stanley for Adweek
However the chain additionally seems to be out for its lesser-known loyalists, just like the Arizona keeper of an Instagram account known as @yoquierotacoballads. On that feed, a genial man named William Bradford creates songs based mostly on Taco Bell receipts. Go forward, DM him and see what occurs.
Bradford, sitting poolside Thursday evening with a just-shaved Taco Bell emblem on the aspect of his head, says he mixes up genres and types for the witty, one-of-a-kind tunes. Since his account’s debut a yr in the past, he’s upped his manufacturing recreation, including results and backup dancers. (He’s an advert man by day and a musician at evening).
“I used to be actually shocked once they invited me,” he says, noting that his social following is modest (somewhat greater than 500 folks). “I suppose they like what I’m doing.”
Love is within the air…till it isn’t
An entire flock of lovebirds checked into the pop-up. One couple obtained married on the model’s Las Vegas chapel final month, so the Palm Springs jaunt was a honeymoon of types. Others say they bonded over their real love of the chain’s meals, serving it at vital occasions of their lives like wedding ceremony receptions.
That was the case for Tarun Sinha and his spouse, Priya Punatar, from Washington, D.C., who tied the knot final week. Sinha’s Instagram deal with is @tacobellsommelier, the place he makes ideas to his 1,500 followers about which wines to pair with burritos and Crunchwrap Supremes.
As a little bit of a distinction, there was the night’s headliner, Fletcher, an X Issue alum and a part of Taco Bell’s longtime help of rising musicians, Feed the Beat. The singer-songwriter, celebrating her first gold-certified single and sipping tequila, devoted most of her set to an ex that she was none too happy with. It wasn’t totally clear if she was speaking about a number of former companions or only one actual a-hole in songs like “Undrunk” and “You Ought to Speak.” However let’s simply say issues didn’t finish effectively in that (these?) relationship(s). However the efficiency, with its vocalist citing pop stars like Lorde as inspiration, was an actual crowd pleaser.