Thursday, September 19, 2019

Bud Light and Arby's join alien-themed 'Storm Area 51' parties | Advertising Age

The “Storm Area 51” raid started out as a big ol’ internet joke but quickly grew into a potentially real thing (putting many, including the Air Force and the Federal Aviation Administration, on edge). While its original organizer, college student Matty Roberts, officially called it off, the occasion morphed into a cause for some serious desert partying. And brands have climbed on board in support. 

The original raid was planned for Sept. 20—this Friday—to target a secretive military site in Nevada where conspiracy theorists think spaceships are being held. Bud Light and Arby's jumped on the Area 51 bandwagon earlier this summer, and they'll continue to back the alien-obsessed (and any potential extraterrestrial Area 51 escapees) at parties this week.

Bud Light is the official sponsor of Thursday's Area 51 Celebration in downtown Las Vegas, which boasts a “classified lineup.” In July, the brand committed to creating a limited-edition alien pack if one of its tweets was shared 51,000 times. Though ultimately it received only about 41,000 retweets, Bud Light made an alien-themed can anyway, and it’s now available for sale in Nevada, California and Arizona. Along with the beer, Bud Light also created limited-edition galactic merch, available at its online gift shop

Bud Light also plans to make good on its earlier promise of free beer to Area 51’s alien escapees. It repurposed a clever idea it originated for Cleveland Browns fans (in which a free beer fridge was unlocked only when the struggling team won a home game) and created a cooler to be unlatched only for any otherworldly beings who make it out of Area 51 and reach Las Vegas’ Luxor Hotel and Casino. But they’ll have to make sure they arrive by Friday, after which the fridge will be no longer. 

Bud Light even made a special Dilly Dilly ad to get the word out:

This summer, Arby’s had set out on a cross-country tour with its sandwich truck and a secret menu.

Originally destined for Area 51, the truck has now rerouted to the “Storm Area 51 Basecamp” event from Friday to Saturday at the Alien Research Center in Hiko, Nevada. Targeting true E.T nerds, its lineup consists of musicians, entertainers and experts with background in UFO sightings, military stealth operations and other E.T.-related research. There, Arby’s will be dishing out items from its formerly top secret menu: the Redacted on Rye Sandwich, the E.T. Slider, Arby’s Frying Objects and the Galaxy Milkshake.


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