Brand partnerships take on a new look and taste as the pandemic comes to a close. Most recently, Wendy’s intensifies its partnership with Adult Swim’s “Rick and Morty” ahead of the show’s fifth season, which premieres on June 20.
The new effort includes omnichannel details ranging from a custom LED drive-thru and themed menu to Rick and Morty-inspired Coca-Cola flavors—Portal Time Lemon Lime and BerryJerryBoree—which are available all summer long. In addition to targetting young audiences, Wendy’s new push echoes the evolving habits of consumers as the pandemic subsides. Though the crisis may be over, old habits die hard and brands must be aware of that. As such, expanding its partnership with a beloved TV show that many consumers may have binge-watched during the pandemic, while also decking out its drive-thru to welcome the return of stepping out, Wendy’s models a hybrid strategy that could be exactly what post-pandemic diners are craving. It also doesn’t hurt that Adult Swim – the show’s network – is currently enjoying a revival thanks to buzzy platform TikTok via a viral video challenge that ask users to remake the classic TV intermission clips that many grew up on.
By blending both pre-pandemic tactics and post-pandemic expectations, Wendy’s can tap into consumer habits without forcing them to commit to one or the other lifestyle. Additionally, throwing a loved and familiar TV show into the mix can help make the transition process easier for consumers to get on board. If there’s one thing brands have learned throughout the crisis, it’s that nostalgia never gets old.