The universe is once again in balance now that Rick and Morty Season 5 has arrived on Adult Swim in full alt-dimension glory. While we're not going to spoil anything about what did or didn't happen in the season premiere with Rick's newly introduced nemesis or Morty's love interest Jessica, suffice to say it was a highly enjoyable return to Adult Swim's most successful animated original. To promote the long-awaited new season, Rick and Morty partnered with Wendy's once again for a fun new campaign. But according to co-creator Justin Roiland, it can sometimes be a total nightmare trying to craft ways for Rick and Morty to sell other companies' products.
For its Season 5 push, Rick and Morty went so far as to completely redesign one California-based Wendy's location as "Morty's," while also offering two new themed fountain drinks at locations across the country. (Those would be Mello Yello BerryJerryboree and Mello Yello Portal Time Lemon Lime.) Though it seems like it might be fun to come up with ways for the genius grandfather and grandson to hock PS5s and Pringles, Justin Roiland pointed out to Collider that things aren't always so easy.
When I'm writing those commercials, I try to just poke fun at the concept of advertising and I try to stay true to the show's tone and the characters. It can be really difficult with some partners because they... First of all, it's not like they come to us and say, 'Hey, here's all of the pitches we have. Which one do you guys want to do?' We're just told, 'Hey, so we did a deal with Pringles.' You know what I mean? It's like, 'Okay. All right, cool.' We're not really in the loop on any of that. I'd like to be. I'd like to be in the room negotiating those rates, because I think that they're underselling the IP. I think they're giving it away. But they'll do stuff for Snickers and they'll come to us and say, 'Hey, blah, blah, blah, whatever. Can you guys do this or do that?' But my whole goal with writing those commercials is trying to stay true to the characters, trying to keep Rick cynical.
First of all, let's all take a step back to appreciate the fact that even though Justin Roiland is busy on roughly eleventeen million different creative projects at any given moment, from Solar Opposites' alien comedy to his video games to as-yet-unseen projects - he's still apparently the key creative force behind Rick and Morty's various advertising adventures. It makes enough sense, considering he voices both Rick and Morty, and it'd doubtful that some random ad exec would be able to write either character's dialogue with the same ribald proficiency.
As cool as it would be for Justin Roiland to hand-pick all the companies he'd like for Rick and Morty to advertise, those decisions are above his pay grade and are no doubt made by the big bosses at Adult Swim, Cartoon Network and Warner Bros. Which can sometimes cause headaches for Roiland when trying to balance the truth of the sardonic characters with an earnest attempt to actually promote a product or business. In his words:
Rick is the type of person that would see right through any fucking advertisement and who these big corporations are, the whole corporations weighing in on socio-political stuff. It's just so fucking ridiculous. It's funny to me, and Rick is somebody who would see right through that shit. It's like they just want money. That's all they care about. So I'm trying to keep all of that in mind while writing these commercials. It's a bit of a tightrope act, especially when you're submitting to the ad agency, they're showing it to the client and you're going to get notes from both, and trying to maintain that level of cynicism and staying true to the characters while also getting those notes implemented. It's a nightmare in some cases.
For better or worse, Justin Roiland decided not to dig deeper into which companies were the biggest nightmares to work with, though one can be sure his stories would have been hilarious and awkward. (And it's not like Rick and Morty commercials have been utilized by so many companies that assumptions can't be made, but I digress.) Regardless of who the biggest nightmares are - i.e. everyone but Sarah Chalke's Summer - fans can be assured that the Adult Swim hit will always keep its often immoral ideals in the crosshairs while pushing Wendy's hamburgers and Pringles, at least as long as Roiland is doing the copywriting. Check out the latest Wendy's commercial below!