Adult Swim’s Emmy-winning show, Rick and Morty, continues to drive viewership for Cartoon Network, as the season six premiere attracted over a million viewers. In fact, Nielsen reports that it was the No. 1 watched program for the day among young adults 18-24 and 18-34, and second behind HBO’s House of the Dragon among adults 18-49. As a major force within pop culture, Rick and Morty is a solid vehicle for brands to market their products – so long as the messaging is delivered in a way that remains authentic to the show’s characters.
Following in the footsteps of Adidas and Pringles, Sony PlayStation teamed with Adult Swim to debut a Rick and Morty spot during the premiere to promote the upcoming launch of God of War Ragnarok. In the commercial, Rick shaves his head and paints his face to look like Kratos and opens a chest to find the Leviathan Axe before the duo travel to the Nine Realms. When Morty is attacked by a flock of birds, Rick refuses to help because he doesn’t want to get blood on the axe.
The crossover spot has been so well received by the gaming community that it’s already had some viral marketing implications. A modder called Omega Fantasy took the time to add the Kratos and Atreus versions of Rick and Morty into 2018’s God of War – a game that won numerous awards and sold nearly 20 million units. A community rallying around a campaign is the best kind of marketing a brand could hope for.
Further driving anticipation for the new game, Sony also unveiled a brand-new trailer for Ragnarok during its recent State of Play showcase. For collectors and mega fans of the franchise, Sony will be releasing a limited edition DualSense controller along with the game on November 9th.
While many PlayStation gamers likely need no reminder that a new God of War is about to launch, the Rick and Morty audience appears to be a great fit for this campaign. According to Interpret’s New Media Measure®, 56% of the Adult Swim audience in the US owns a PlayStation console, well ahead of both Xbox (43%) and Nintendo Switch (35%).