Adult Swim hit Rick and Morty made its long-awaited return on July 30, and fans flocked back to the animated program in droves. Viewers weren’t just tuning into the show, however. They were also talking about it extensively through social media — both during the true premiere on the 30th (technically episode one occurred on April 1), and the season’s third episode on August 6.
The two episodes sparked more than 34,000 emotional reactions (ERs), according to emotion analytics company Canvs. Of all tweets captured by Nielsen around the show, 37.4% were emotionally charged. And of those, 27.7% (9,430) elicited a “crazy” reaction. Other top ERs included “love” (18.4%), “excited” (17.9%) and “happy” (14.6%).
That enthusiasm for Rick and Morty seemed to extend to the show’s advertisers as well. According to iSpot.tv, spots that appeared during the show from July 30 through August 6 earned a 91.46% average view rate (average percentage of viewers across all TV appearances of an ad). iSpot tracks TV ads 24/7 across linear, VOD, OTT and time-shifted viewings, from a panel of 10 million connected TVs.
The overwhelming majority of viewers (93.8%) also caught the show live, which makes for less commercial skipping. That dynamic was especially beneficial to the highest-scoring ads in terms of average view rate. Cheetos, State Farm, Burger King and Pizza Hut all registered ads with an AVR above 98% during the shows’ first eight days back on the air.
Those brands fit the predominantly male audience, but the creative also matched the show’s witty tone.
Rick and Morty’s not just finding success in a vacuum, though. The show’s popularity with fans is only growing by the week — both in comparison to its peer programs, and its own history.
Nearly 95% of all ERs around Adult Swim programming from July 30 to August 6 was about Rick and Morty. Additionally, the season three premiere saw larger engagement numbers than the show did for season two back in 2015 (39.1% ERs vs. 30.9% two years ago).
Rick and Morty made up 82.2% of all ERs for animated programs in the time frame. But even more importantly, were also the top performing comedy in that stretch, at 30.1% of all ERs.