- T-Mobile and Taco Bell will debut a T-MoBell concept pop-up store later this month, building on a partnership formed around the Super Bowl, according to a joint news release.
- The stores will open from July 23-25 in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. T-MoBells will feature live DJs and host daily giveaways for free co-branded merchandise, tacos and special menu items, such as a limited edition, white cherry-flavored T-MoBell Freeze. The gear, including taco-themed socks, foam hats and a stick-on wallet, is in limited supply and available on a first come, first served basis.
- Surprise guests, like Colton Underwood from "The Bachelor," will also make appearances at each T-MoBell location for photo opportunities. Fans not in participating T-MoBell cities can follow T-Mobile's Twitter account to try and score a $500 Taco Bell gift card and other prizes.
T-Mobile and Taco Bell are extending a successful freebie partnership into the red-hot experiential space with the co-branded pop-up concept. The promise of free merchandise and exclusive menu items might make the T-MoBell stores a draw for consumers, who latched onto the "free taco every week" mobile giveaway the two brands introduced earlier this year.
After the Super Bowl, Taco Bell gave away tacos on Tuesdays to customers with a T-Mobile plan. The deal was part of a larger T-Mobile Tuesdays promotion attached to an app of the same name. John Legere, chief executive at T-Mobile, said in a statement that the T-Mobile Tuesdays Super Bowl campaign put the carrier's deals app at the top of Apple's App store rankings. T-Mobile has not disclosed specific sales results from the tie-up, but claimed in February that it drove a record high in daily and hourly digital transactions for Taco Bell.
With the new co-branded pop-ups, T-Mobile and Taco Bell look to translate that mobile virality into the real world. Off-kilter activations and brand extensions like quirky merchandise are an area Taco Bell is readily familiar with. The Yum Brands chain has previously worked with the fast-fashion retailer Forever 21 on a capsule collection. It's also pushed the limits of what constitutes a "lifestyle" brand.
Taco Bell offers wedding services at some of its premium Cantina locations, and is this summer revamping a hotel in Palm Springs, California, to be themed around its brand. The Bell hotel, open for a limited time starting Aug. 9, features exclusive merchandise and menu items, much like the T-MoBell pop-ups. Reservations sold out within two minutes of going live in late June.