The ‘Rick and Morty’ advertising and marketing multiverse: From ‘Alien’ to the Pickle Rick Frosty

When “Rick and Morty” crash landed on Adult Swim in 2013, its specialized niche humor and wacky model of science fiction did not appear primed for mainstream good results. In its 2nd period, nevertheless, the show about an alcoholic, mad-scientist grandfather, Rick, his anxious grandson, Morty, and their satirical, inter-dimensional adventures started building an enormous fandom amid young older people. As the clearly show rocketed to the best of rankings lists, pulled in two Emmys for “Outstanding Animated Program” and ranked 2nd among the most-pirated reveals all through the pandemic, manufacturer partnerships turned an inevitability, just like for most extensive-running Tv set exhibits.

But “Rick and Morty” has tested to pull them off better than most, with brands in types ranging from snacks to flicks gaining big detect with innovative tie-ins. The most current stunt comes from Wendy’s, which previous month briefly slapped the title “Morty’s” on one particular of its dining places.

To uncover secrets behind the show’s collaboration success—and what other manufacturers can discover from it—Ad Age just lately caught up with executives tied to the display, as properly as various manufacturers that have struck promotions over the a long time. Grownup Swim’s internet marketing pillars incorporate an genuine understanding of the show’s voice, full imaginative collaboration, new and expansive suggestions and, most importantly, gratitude to the admirers, says Jill King, senior VP of internet marketing and partnerships for Adult Swim, Cartoon Network and Boomerang.

Beneath, a deeper search at what has labored and why: 

And Rick said, ‘Let there be partnerships’

“‘Rick and Morty’ has been an anchor program for us for a extensive time and I am thrilled that each and every year we do interesting and one of a kind items with them,” Katrina Cukaj, who leads advert gross sales and partnerships at WarnerMedia, instructed Ad Age. “IP is possibly the most vital detail that we have in this company. And it’s really about bringing our clients and their makes shut to those supporters, which are rather sought following.”

From regular video spots to award-profitable campaigns and immersive pop-ups, “Rick and Morty” partnerships have run the gamut as the brand name identified its advertising and marketing identification more than time, together with intervention from prolific director Ridley Scott, restaurant riots, and lots and loads of Pickle Rick products.

“Rick and Morty” very first disrupted the advertising universe on Nov. 30, 2015 when a video for Carl’s Jr & Hardee’s premiered for broadcast —and afterwards on social media—just in excess of a thirty day period following the show’s year two finale. The place displays Rick bursting into Morty’s bed room at 4 a.m. proclaiming “Morty, wake up, we’re in a Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s commercial ideal now.” Grotesquely animated variations of the speedy foods restaurant’s burgers adhere to Rick, sloshing gore-like sauce all in excess of Morty’s space to his vociferous dismay.