It is safe to say that the Smith household has seen its share of malevolent attacking forces over the years. There was that time they had a nasty infestation of space parasites who made themselves appear like “Uncle Steve;” and on another Rick and Morty occasion, they were overwhelmed by giant Praying Mantis’. Even Rick Sanchez himself could be viewed as an invading force. Yet nothing might be so insidious as what Rick and Morty face in their first Super Bowl TV Spot: product placement.
That is the gist of the new funny video that partnered Pringles potato chips with Adult Swim’s flagship series, Rick and Morty. In the below video, some on-brand self-awareness sees Rick and Morty’s older sister, Summer, watching TV long enough to wink at the camera about getting paid to sell chips. And then it happens… Morty runs into the living room to offer an overeager endorsement of stacking Pringles flavors. But not is all as it seems. If you have any doubt, watch for yourself…
Rick likely picked up on the menace before we did simply because Morty entered a room without saying “ah jeez.” We should’ve known, we should’ve known!
When it comes to pushing potato chips, your mileage may very but we found the TV spot to be cutely clever, if only for its shrewd reworking of a classic Rick and Morty situation. Echoing a my personal favorite Rick and Morty episode, “Total Rickall” from season 2, the mundanity of everyday life is turned on its head when Rick spots a threat in disguise. In the aforementioned episode, it was parasites who tricked the whole family, even Rick, by creating an illusion in which they appeared to be long lost friends and family members who never existed like “Ghost in a Jar” and “Frankenstein.”
In the advertisement, it’s Morty himself who’s been replicated (or assimilated?) by the soulless forces of capitalism into an army of Pringles-marketing robots with catch phrases and slogans dripping from their speakers.
It’s also a reminder of how far Rick and Morty has grown in popularity from the late night cult hit originally created by Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland. Originally, Rick and Morty was intended to be niche, especially after Harmon’s bid at network sitcom writing led to the little watched, if beloved by fans, Community. Now though, Rick and Morty has gone from waiting years between perfectionist seasons to having a yearly output thanks to a deal Harmon and Roiland signed with Adult Swim to produce 70 more episodes on top of the first three runs.
That was a major sign that Rick and Morty is becoming a popular institution in the realm of animated comedy. The show leading a pricy Super Bowl TV spot for a major brand is another. The current cost for a Super Bowl TV Spot in 2020 is estimated to be $5.6 million for 30 seconds. So it’s safe to assume that even if Roiland and Harmon earned “hardly anything” for the Pringles ad (thanks Rick!), it still was enough to buy whole lot of chip stacks.
Here’s what you need to know about the current Rick and Morty Season 4.