April Fool’s Day on Saturday hosted a cacophony of disinformation from brands but Adult Swim stood out head and shoulders above most stunts by launching its much-anticipated show Rick and Morty without much in the way of warning.
The third season of the show has been in production since the conclusion of season 2 at the end of 2015, as a result, its cult fan base has intermittently over the last two years sparked rumours about its return.
Cutting through a sea of brand pranks (all documented here) and outdoing The Drum’s launch of the Fakies Awards as part of International Fake News Day, Adult Swim dropped the first episode in what was seemingly an elaborate prank.
It was unique in that the prank provided the perfect base to rollout the show afterwards, generating a buzz that would not have been afforded to it with a standard release.
The show was streamed by Adult Swim all day, underlining that the full season will launch in the summer.
Btw they're just going to keep running this episode forever. Get used to it- this is Cartoon Network now.
— Rick (((and Morty))) (@RickandMorty) April 2, 2017
The episode also stared a brand tie-in, albeit unofficial. Main character Rick kept referencing McDonald’s limited run of the Szechuan Sauce for the 1998 release of Disney’s Mulan, the official Twitter account for the show conversed with the brand.
— McDonald's (@McDonalds) April 2, 2017
It came hours after season three was teased on Twitter.