Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s (they’re one and the same) are promoting a new sandwich: the Tex Mex Bacon Thickburger. And they brought along an unlikely partner to promote the sandwich, Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty. The result is a 30-second spot with anthropomorphized hamburgers that parodies the show’s pilot episode.
In the commercial, Rick wakes Morty up at 4 a.m., even though Morty’s got a test at school in the morning. He then introduces the fast food chains’ Thickburger El Diablo, All-Natural Burger, Western Bacon Cheeseburger, and, last but not least, the Jalapeño Thickburger. The seemingly drunk sandwiches then ooze sauce everywhere and destroy Morty’s room. It’s disgusting. It’s hilarious.
Carl’s Jr. has proven that it has absolutely no problem with making a total fool of itself as a brand to grab customers’ attention. They have infamously sexist commercials that just use women as props to sell greasy burgers. The Rick and Morty commercial, thus, is a great and honest contrast to the company’s sleazy past (not to say it’ll stop being sleazy).
Fast food is fatty and gross and makes you feel physically bad immediately after eating (often while eating it, too). But it’s fun! And it tastes really good. So the Rick and Morty collab is not about making Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s look appetizing. The companies know that they share something in common with Adult Swim — their audiences enjoy weed — and the commercial is a welcome wink. For something absurd and animated, it’s pretty honest and refreshing.
Here’s to gross fast food commercials!