How Rick and Morty and a galaxy of different popular culture stars made Wrangler cool once more
Holly Wheeler has got used to such calls.
On May 31st, the relentless buzz of her cellphone disrupted her otherwise relaxed Sunday. "I was suddenly getting a lot of text messages," said Wheeler, vice president of global branding for Wrangler. "I had all these people sending me texts with screenshots of a little alien with a denim-on-denim look."
The news, she recalled, also said pretty much the same thing: "Dude! You're with Rick and Morty! "
Well, it wasn't actually Wheeler who was in Adult Swim's cult hit animated science fiction series – it was Wrangler.
Without spoiling anything, the show's fourth season finale included a counterfeit piece of marketing in which a gromflomite pitchman warmly thanks a wicked clone version of Morty's mother, Beth, for their latest purchase. "Congratulations to your government, company, or terrorist cell on Xamaxax's acquisition of the NX-5 Planet Remover in partnership with Wrangler Jeans!" said the alien insect, essentially implying that wiping out a planet is easier than a pair of Wrangler jeans.
Contrary to what some fans probably thought, Wrangler Corporate hadn't paid for the placement, and didn't even know it was coming. But now that the world was out, Wheeler moved quickly to do something about it.
"We didn't know Wrangler would be on the show," she said, remembering her next thought, "We have something here. We have to do something with it."
What Wrangler did about it makes its official debut today: the Wrangler x Rick and Morty Collection. It features a t-shirt and a laser-etched denim jacket, both of which feature elaborate illustrations of the NX-5 Planet Remover. (There's no word on what a galactic death ray could cost, but the items range from $ 29 to $ 79 on Wrangler's website.)
Wheeler's team moved at a quantum speed to get a deal with Adult Swim, come up with an approved design for the clothes, and make them on time. But it's a process that Wheeler had some practice with. Last year when Lil Nas X was singing about Wranglers on his prey in his monster hit Old Town Road, Wheeler heard about it through a similar stream of text messages and had been working on producing the Lil Nax X collection within weeks.
Wrangler's collaboration not only teaches the importance of moving fast to be part of a cultural moment, it also shows the rewards for an older brand that can introduce itself to a new generation of customers by working with the beloved children .
That was the goal when Wrangler took his brand on another famous booty in January: the legendary buns of retired NFL star Rob Gronkowski, who made one for Gronk Beach, the Polynesian luau he hosted just before Super Bowl LIV wore special Wrangler denim.
Another example of Wrangler's ability to ride with younger partners was announced late last week. The Wrangler x Stranger Things Collection is another combination of denim jacket and t-shirt. This set is decorated with the logo for the Hellfire Club, the title of the first episode of the fourth season of Netflix & # 39; s hit series. The dress was released on November 6th (which, in case you missed it, was Stranger Things Day).