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Operation Alaska

Written By: Adam Nowak, VP, creative director & copywriter at Draftfcb Orange County

Sunday July 1st wasn’t an ordinary day in Bethel, Alaska.

There was an excitement in the air and the town, which you can only get to by air or sea. A day earlier, news that Taco Bell was coming started to make its way through the grapevine. The people knew it was coming, they just didn’t knowHOW it was coming.
Crowds of people began to form outside the communities Cultural Center around noon. Men, women and children took the afternoon off from chores and fishing to stand outside in the rain to experience the big event.  Local and national news outlets were scattered amongst the fans interviewing the energized crowd. Guys (and even a few dogs) decked themselves out in giant sombreros.  Teenagers wielded “I love Taco Bell” signs. And at one point the anxious crowd even broke into an orchestrated “Ta-Co-Bell, Ta-Co-Bell!” chant.
Then, a little after 1 p.m., the quiet Alaskan sky erupted with the thunderous sound of thumping helicopter blades. A black and purple Huey chopper dramatically appeared from the horizon carrying a Taco Bell truck attached to a 50 ft. cable.
The crowd screamed and scrambled for their camera phones. Pictures were snapped by the hundreds as the expert pilot circled the town and did a few show off fly-bys. One grown man in camouflage even yelled, “No! Don’t leave!”
And leave it didn’t. It touched down perfectly on a landing pad emblazoned with the Live Mas logo. A boisterous worker slid open the window and yelled, “Who wants Taco Bell!”
The crowd of thousands rushed the truck as if it were the Beatles. Doritos Locos Tacos were handed out at warp speed, while a crew was standing by making fresh Tacos so they were always served up hot.  There was pure joy of faces of all as they each crunched into the iconic nacho cheese shell for the very first time. “My all-time favorite,” and “Heaven on earth,” were a few great sound bites from the people. But a personal favorite came from jubilant double-fisting dude who just said, “No seriously though. Did you bring fire sauce?”
They licked their orange fingers one by one. They went back for seconds. Some even sevenths. They all got to taste a taco they’ve never tasted before. And might not be able to again.
We all got the feeling that the town of Bethel was genuinely thrilled to be there that day.
And so were we.