The Panorama City, California, Wendy’s looked like something from a different dimension this past weekend. As Ad Age reported last week, the restaurant was renamed “Morty’s” in partnership with the Adult Swim series “Rick and Morty,” which celebrated the premiere of its fifth season on Sunday. Devotees from the show’s massive fanbase drove long distances and waited up to seven hours in line to experience the immersive drive-thru installation celebrating the wacky grandpa and grandson’s sci-fi adventures.
See inside 'Rick and Morty' Wendy's pop-up installation
The “Morty’s” pop-up is the second partnership between Wendy’s and Adult Swim after the success of last year’s custom-animated ad for the chain’s breakfast menu, but this time it’s bigger than before with a custom menu and LED drive-thru experience.
Massive, inflatable Rick and Morty heads welcomed drivers through their mouths and into a tunnel lined with large LED screens. The trippy journey included custom animations themed around the show.
They depicted a wall of character Mr. Meeseeks, Wendy's anthropomorphized menu items chasing Rick and Morty and a Morty-ized head of Wendy's mascot. A devoted radio station allowed cars to crank the volume on a playlist of songs from the show. It all ended in a free in-car photo with a custom partnership digital sticker.
Visitors to the otherworldly restaurant were treated to a custom menu, including free Pickle Rick Frosties—a neon green, pickle-flavored twist on the classic frozen treat with a dried pickle garnish.
The menu also included classic Wendy's breakfast and all-day items, including a one-patty combo, renamed "Jerry's Single Combo" in honor of one of the show's characters.
Globally, Wendy’s and Coca-Cola released new flavor combinations—the Mello Yello Portal Time Lemon Lime and the Mello Yello Berry Jerryboree—for their Freestyle drink dispensers at more than 5,000 Wendy’s locations. YouTuber Nishino says in his review of the beverages that both have strong Mountain Dew flavors, the Berry Jerryboree with an extra kick of fruit punch.
“We love the flavors that we've leaned into,” Jimmy Bennett, Wendy’s VP of Media and Social, told Ad Age of the new Coca-Cola Freestyle beverages. “These are flavors that will work well with your breakfast meal, but then also work well with lunch and dinner and any other occasion that you see appropriate for him.”
The “Rick and Morty” partnership is part of Wendy’s continued push to promote its breakfast line, which accounted for 7% of its 2020 sales.
“We recognize the ability of the [“Rick and Morty”] fan base and the desire of this fan base to hear more around Wendy’s and opportunities to connect even deeper into our experience,” says Bennett.
The Wendy’s and “Rick and Morty” partnership also featured a Twitter takeover and an animated ad that premiered on Sunday in tandem with the premiere of Season Five of “Rick and Morty.”