McDonald's Delivers Long-Lost Sauce to Crazed 'Rick and Morty' Fans On Twitter

Cult Hit Cartoon Is Perfect Opening for Social Media Frenzy Over 'Mulan' Szechuan Dipping Sauce

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McDonald's dug deep into its inventory of discontinued menu items, resurrecting its long-forgotten "Mulan" Szechuan dipping sauce, and now it's riding a wave of good karma on social media. This weekend, the fast food chain sent a half-gallon bottle of the dipping sauce to creator of "Rick and Morty" Justin Roiland, because he mentioned the sauce in his freaky sci-fi show's season premiere. In April, season three of the cult hit "Rick and Morty" streamed online, before launching the full season this weekend, and there were multiple mentions of the McDonald's dipping sauce. Since the premiere, McDonald's hinted it might just re-release the sauce, which had been created for a limited time in 1998 to promote the Disney cartoon film "Mulan."

"Rick and Morty" is based loosely on the old mad scientist and scraggly-voiced kid characters of "Back to the Future." Rick, the grandfather, takes grandson Morty on sci-fi adventures. In the season premiere, Rick uses the deliciousness of Szechuan sauce to distract aliens and make an intergalactic prison escape. At the end of the show, he frightens Morty by revealing his true master plan all along has been to track down the McDonald's dipping sauce in whatever dimension it's still being made.

McDonald's couldn't help but notice when the fanbase went crazy over the sauce on Reddit back in April. The company even hinted it might bring back the sauce so everyone could taste the nostalgia. For season three, McDonald's sent show creator Roiland a personal batch of the sauce, and promised to award three more containers to fans. A picture of the Szechuan sauce got 17,000 retweets on Twitter, and a Periscope video promoting the giveaway got nearly 200,000 views. These are numbers that McDonald's typically never reaches on social platforms.

However, social media can be friendly territory for fast food. This year, Wendy's won free promotion with the most retweeted message of all time in a campaign that became known as "Nuggs for Carter." Carter Wilkinson asked Wendy's for free nuggets if his tweet reached a certain number of people--it did. Brands have to look out for anytime they get mentioned in a popular show, even obscure ones like "Rick and Morty," because their niche followings are often the most energized. The Netflix series "Stranger Things," for instance, brought back Eggo waffle memories to masses of watchers.

McDonald's did not return a request for comment. Omnicom agency partner We Are Unlimited was behind the "Rick and Morty" response.

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About

Credits
Date
Jul 31, 2017
Agency:
We Are Unlimited
Chief Creative Officer:
Toygar Bazarkaya
Client:
Rick and Morty/McDonald's
Creative Director:
Jon Morgan
Creative Director:
Vic Sanchez
Copywriter:
Kevin Murray
Copywriter:
Brandon Zach
Art Director:
Candice Schlax
Chief Production Officer:
Jon Ellis
Director of Studio Production:
Jonathan Goorvich
Videographer:
Mason Adams
Photographer:
Mason Adams
Audio Engineer:
Paxson Helgesen
Integrated Producer:
Andy Sandrick
Integrated Producer:
Liz Maupin
Chief Strategy Officer:
Graceann Bennett
Social Strategy Lead:
Emily Bader
Cultural Strategy Lead:
Rene Huey Lipton
Senior Social Strategist:
Emily Luiz
Social Strategist:
Shannon Hunter
Social Media Analyst:
Shelby Rohlff
Senior Cultural Strategist:
Nick Ayala
Chief Delivery Officer:
Denis Budniewski
PR:
Golin Harris
Digital Director:
Josh Rangel
Director:
Nichole Luna
Senior Manager:
Hana Link
Manager:
Jillian Barwick

See more credits

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