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    Modern love: Taco Bell takes wedding services to the metaverse

    • Taco Bell is bringing its wedding services into the metaverse following five years of hosting real-world nuptials, according to a press release
    • The fast-food chain is running a contest through Sept. 6 where engaged couples can submit a registration form and video detailing their love story, Taco Bell fandom and why they want to tie the knot virtually. The winners will be treated to a personalized event on Decentraland this fall. 
    • The digital celebration carries the typical wedding traditions, like toasts, dances and the exchanging of vows and rings, while those unable to attend can livestream the gathering. Taco Bell is attempting to port over a far-fetched but surprisingly successful concept to the metaverse as hybrid experiences become more common in marketing. 

    Taco Bell raised a few eyebrows in 2017 when it started offering wedding services through its flagship Las Vegas Cantina location. The brand was able to adeptly capture the ethos of Sin City — infamous for spur-of-the-moment elopements — and has since legally married nearly 800 couples from its “restaurant chapel.” 

    Now, the Yum Brands chain is attempting to translate the concept to the metaverse amid a rush of brand experimentation on interactive virtual platforms and as more dating takes place online. Creative agencies Deutsch LA and The Electric Factory worked on the effort. 

    “In the age of swiping for love, Taco Bell’s metaverse wedding will allow one couple to take part in the voyage of what may well be the next evolution of modern love — and we’re proud to be leading the charge,” Taco Bell brand chief Sean Tresvant said in a statement. 

    The marketer is selecting a winning couple from a contest that asks interested consumers to film a video espousing their passion for each other and Taco Bell, as well as an explanation of why the virtual realm is the right fit. Applicants receive only one entry per person, but the brand is encouraging them to post their submissions on Instagram and TikTok to get the #TacoBellMetaverseWeddingContest trending. Social media videos must be linked and uploaded to the contest website. 

    Unlike real-life weddings, which can be cost-prohibitive, metaverse celebrations carry theoretically endless possibilities on the planning front. Taco Bell is asking couples to share their ideal walk down the aisle, first dance, attire and menu, along with choosing a notable officiant. A yet-to-be-named designer will help customize the outfits, while Taco Bell is providing couples and their guests with nonfungible token (NFT) wearables for their Decentraland avatars. Additionally, Taco Bell will mint the wedding certificate and send the bride and groom their own swag package. 

    Following the ceremony, attendees can explore a virtual iteration of the premium Cantina store concept for the reception. The space includes a dance floor, drinks lounge, photo booth and “challenging quest,” though further details on the latter weren’t available. Decentraland is browser-based, meaning visitors don’t need to download a separate application to gain entry. 

    Taco Bell’s push into wedding services five years ago helped enshrine its image as a lifestyle brand with a cult following. The QSR has tried its hand at other outsized experiential promotions, like a hotel takeover that saw reservations book up in under two minutes in 2019.

    The metaverse and other Web 3.0-adjacent ideas have factored more into the playbook. Last year, the brand created a line of taco-themed NFTs that sold out in thirty minutes.  

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