Arby’s has been named a finalist for Adweek’s 2020 Experiential Award for Best Pop-Up Experiential Activation after bringing the meats to Hiko, Nevada, for the Area 51 music and entertainment event last year.
After nearly two million people signed up to attend the Area 51 pop culture event, Arby’s announced it would take part in the event by creating a stop-motion video of an Arby’s sauce packet tracing the 2,000-mile road trip from Atlanta to Hiko. The tweet also teased the brand’s exclusive menu, featuring specially crafted items with an extraterrestrial spin, served from the Roadside Meathouse — the nearly 50-foot Arby’s mobile kitchen.
Days before the event, the Arby’s culinary team unveiled the special menu, featuring the Redacted-on-Rye Sandwich, a twist on Arby’s classic Rachel sandwich in a nod to the town of Rachel, Nevada; the E.T. Slider, a chicken tender slider smothered in an ooze-like glaze of Arby’s famous Bronco Berry sauce; Arby’s Frying Objects, loaded curly fries topped with savory “moon rocks” that crackled and popped with every bite; and the Galaxy Shake, a taste-shifting, color-morphing milkshake.
The Arby’s team then delivered on its promise, arriving on the scene and serving thousands of guests for free. The team also stood up a pop-up swag shop, giving away out-of-this-world merchandise and desert survival gear as fans enjoyed alien-themed attractions and presentations from expert ufologists.
Relive out all the sights and sounds of the Area 51 Basecamp Experience below and check out the live virtual event, Elevate Creativity, on June 18, when Adweek’s 2020 Experiential Awards winners will be announced.