Rick and Morty and the Need for Bravery in Brand Partnerships

Adult Swim and Wendy's talk taking risks at Adweek's Convergent TV summit

Get the scoop from strategic media pros at Disney, YouTube and more just in time for upfront season at Convergent TV, March 21–22. Learn more.

When the popular Adult Swim series Rick and Morty joined forces with Wendy’s in June to unveil a themed pop-up restaurant in Los Angeles, along with two new drink mixes—Mello Yello Berry Jerryboree and Mello Yello Portal Time Lemon Lime—it was a risk.

The animated sci-fi show had teamed up with other companies in the past. Pringles is one example. Beverage brand Miracle Seltzer is another.

But because Rick and Morty fans are so devoted to the series, there’s always the possibility that a new partnership, such as with a fast-food chain, might backfire, according to Tricia Melton, CMO of global kids, young adults and classics at Warner Brothers, which oversees Adult Swim.

“If we take a misstep and do something that feels wildly out of character for Rick, Morty or any of the characters in the show, we would hear about it immediately,” Melton said at Adweek’s virtual Convergent TV summit in...

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