See inside latest 'Rick and Morty' partnership with Wendy's

'Morty's Mayhem' joined March Madness festivities last weekend at Resorts World Las Vegas

Published On
Mar 25, 2022

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Last weekend March Madness fans were treated to a trip into the wacky world of Adult Swim’s mega-popular “Rick and Morty,” which landed on the Las Vegas strip for “Morty’s Mayhem.” The show’s latest partnership with Wendy’s featured games, prizes and the return of the Pickle Rick Frosty.

Last year, the series and fast feeder teamed up for a store and menu takeover in Los Angeles called “Morty’s,” which saw fans drive across the country and wait in lines for up to nine hours. The experience centered on a drive-thru tunnel lined with LED screens of custom animation from the show, housed between mammoth blow-ups of dimension-hopping mad scientist Rick and the character that mashes together his grandson Morty with the freckle-faced Wendy’s mascot.

Housed at Resorts World Las Vegas, “Morty’s Mayhem” saw the return of last year’s inflatable heads, now sporting sweatbands in tribute to the city’s college basketball festivities. But this time, visitors were able to get up close with their interdimensional faves on foot in an immersive LED experience featuring more unique animation from the Adult Swim team. 

Morty's Mayhem Walk-thru

“Morty’s Mayhem” also featured games that rewarded exclusive Wendy’s and “Rick and Morty” swag and an area to watch the college basketball tournaments. The experience marked the return of the Pickle Rick Frosty, a salty rendition of the restaurant’s classic Frosty with a dried pickle garnish. Fans were treated to the delicacy for free at the pop-up, alongside promotions for Wendy’s new breakfast item, the Hot Honey Chicken Biscuit, as well as its Hot and Crispy Fries and Frosty-ccino.

Morty's Mayhem games

Morty's Mayhem prizes

The activation was created with event agency The Marketing Arm, Golden Wolf animation studio and Wendy's marketing partners Spark Foundry and VMLY&R.

While last year’s activation was tied to the season five premiere of “Rick and Morty,” this year’s follow-up was not attached to the debut of any new episodes. It's a testament to the independent success of the partnership and saw thousands of fans line up for the experience.

“The power of ‘Rick and Morty’ transcends a new series,” said Tricia Melton, chief marketing officer for Warner Bros. Kids, Young Adults and Classics. “The power and the fan passion makes it such an opportunity that we can take that to market, we can surprise and delight fans basically anytime.”

“It's a perfect trifecta,” Melton said. “You've got Vegas, you've got college basketball at its apex and you've got this ‘Rick and Morty’ partnership with Wendy's that brings this other whole layer of surprise and silliness and fan experience altogether.”

Morty's Mayhem ball

Wendy’s first teamed with “Rick and Morty” in 2020 on a custom-animated ad featuring the zany adventurers on the run from a group of menacing Wendy’s breakfast items. That spot currently has over 10.5 million views on YouTube. From then through the end of 2021, Wendy’s breakfast grew from zero to 8% of its total sales, which Jimmy Bennett, vice president of media and social for Wendy’s, attributes in part to the partnership with the Adult Swim show.

“The content on air that [Adult Swim] did for us—Wendy's food animated into a scene with ‘Rick and Morty’—established a foundation for us to build upon,” Bennett told Ad Age. “Everything that we did with ‘Rick and Morty’ put forth enough motivation, enough incentive where it drove consumers into, ‘Hey, I gotta try this breakfast for myself.’”

“We're always looking to do stuff that's unexpected, that leaves consumers saying that they want more and saying what's next,” added Bennett. The team at Adult Swim is "willing to get weird with us and to recognize that we have some fans and some consumers with such high expectations. We're in a position to deliver on that, so let's keep going and let's find bigger and better ways to show up out in the world.”

Pickle Rick Frosty