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Intelligence Briefs

Taco Bell to open pop up hotel

Paul McIntyre
Executive Editor

19 May 2019 2min read

Taco Bell will open a hotel for a limited time in Palm Springs from August. The Yum Brands company is already collecting data ahead of officially taking reservations for what it says will be this summer’s ‘hottest’ holiday destination (Taco Bell).


Key points:

  • Doors will open at 'The Bell: A Taco Bell Hotel and Resort' in Palm Springs, California on 9 August
  • A 'destination inspired by tacos and fuelled by fans', with lots of hot branded stuff
  • “The Bell stands to be the biggest expression of the Taco Bell lifestyle to date” - Chief Global Brand Officer Marisa Thalberg
  • Reservations open in June

My Takeout

Putting customers in a pool with inflatable hot sauce packets is as immersive as it gets and the free media Taco Bell has already earned by announcing the stunt suggests it will pay for itself. Though it’s not yet entirely clear if guests will pay for their reservations or earn them in other ways.

Brands have had some success in recent years with paid events, such as LVMH-owned Benefit Cosmetic’s Good Ship Benefit in London, alcohol brands including Peroni and Hendricks, and music platform Spotify selling out a 10,000 seat concert at £35 a ticket. London agency Collider thinks paid-for experiential will be one of the top category trends in 2019.

Paid or otherwise, Taco Bell can reward loyal fans, test new products, see which merchandise sells best, create reams of Instagram “tacoassis” holiday pics – and have some fun. The brand has done some pretty innovative stuff over the years – from bringing unsigned bands to new audiences, to free college football tickets, to scholarships, even enabling fans to tie the knot in a Taco Bell Las Vegas wedding chapel. If hotel Bell has a honeymoon suite, the latter could see brisk business.

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