- Restaurant chain Arby's will bring its food truck to Area 51 on Sept. 20 to coincide with the "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us" event that has gone viral on Facebook. The Inspire Brands chain announced the news via a blog post and in a tweet that read, "We're going there. No really, we're going there. #Area51. And we're bringing a special menu."
- A video in the tweet traces a road trip path from Georgia to Nevada in Arby's sauce, revealing the path the Arby's food truck will take. The brand said it would reveal a "top-secret" menu at the event.
- "We can't confirm if there are aliens at Area 51. But, if they do show up, they deserve the best meats on Earth," CMO Jim Taylor said in a statement. "If not, Arby's will still be there serving the planet's best meats to everyone else attending this historic event."
Arby's is the latest brand to market itself around the viral Facebook event, which appeared online in early July and has since grown virally, with almost 2 million people signed up to attend. The idea is that citizens raid the top-secret military compound, the alleged site of recovered alien vehicles and possibly aliens themselves. While much of the interest in the event is ironic, it represents an opportunity for Arby's to get in on the fun and engage with millions of consumers, some of whom might actually make it out to Nevada in September.
Since the Area 51 meme has been a hot topic online and in the news in recent weeks, savvy brands are looking to get their names into the viral conversation. Bud Light promised to debut an Area 51-themed special label if they could get their tweet about it retweeted 51,000 times. The brand — looking to match the joking tone of the event itself —also offered free beer to any aliens that escape.
Arby's is taking things a step further by capitalizing on the popularity of food trucks, which have popped up at music festivals and in cities for years. These food trucks offer consumers a chance to try food without having to step foot in a restaurant, and often offer special menus and items, as Arby's promises.
However, the event is still controversial — the Air Force has told people not to attend — and brands must tread lightly around the event since they don't want to be seen as sponsoring illegal activity like storming a military base. Bud Light, for instance, tweeted that it is not a sponsor of the Area 51 raid, though it is participating in the buzz through social media marketing.