Tacos are comfort food. Now, one of the largest sellers of tacos in America is taking comfort to the next level. The Bell: A Taco Bell Hotel and Resort is opening for a limited time in Palm Springs this August.
The Bell will be an immersive experience designed to celebrate and pamper the world’s biggest fans of the fast-food chain. There will be a gift shop with exclusive Taco Bell-themed apparel and an on-site salon with Taco Bell-inspired nail art and hair styling services.
“We’re already in the hospitality business,” Taco Bell Chief Brand Officer Marisa Thalberg told Travel + Leisure. “This is a more immersive form of hospitality where people can really soak up the experience of the brand in a destination.”
Reservations will open in June, and guests will start checking in on Aug. 9.
Thalberg said that the idea for a Taco Bell-themed hotel is meant to be playful and fun, but the brand sincerely intends for it to be an “unparalleled experience.”
How important is experiential marketing today?
When Skittles produced a Broadway play instead of a Super Bowl spot last February, it sold out in seconds.
There is a growing list of companies in the consumer space that believe in and invest in experiential marketing because the need to make real connections with real people in real life is greater now than ever. We can thank the digital drain for that.
I realize how badly marketing pontificators love to poke and prod the business case for brand communities and brand influencers, but marketers are not looking to the critics, they’re looking to the people who clearly love the company and clearly want to show up for its events, parties, pop-ups and so on. And there are lots of people who fit the lifestyle profile.
These happenings are created and promoted by the brand, but it’s the fans who volunteer to amplify them. When you have a hotel full of people in a pop-up Taco Bell hotel in Palm Springs, for instance, photos and videos will be shared on the ‘gram. Lots of them.
The brand’s role here is to provide the setting for good things to happen. Taco Bell is doing that, and the fast feeder will earn loads of press by doing so, which they can stack on top of their social media mentions that this brand activation will generate.