WHAT: A new 60-second piece of branded content for UFC 200, in which King of the Hill‘s Hank Hill and Ren & Stimpy side-character George Liquor kick back with their favorite beverage to discuss Cormier vs. Jones.
WHO: UFC boss Dana White, who told Adweek that Adult Swim is “pretty much the only channel I watch at night,” came up with the idea for the ads himself, and reached out to King of the Hill creator Mike Judge personally. Judge, in turn, brought in Ren & Stimpy creator (and UFC fan) Jon Kricfalusi.
WHY WE CARE: King of the Hill ended in 2010, while Ren & Stimpy has been largely dormant since the cancellation of its short-lived 2003 revival on Spike TV. So it’s exciting to see them back to life in any form–even if Ren and Stimpy themselves don’t appear in the spot, and seeing Hank Hill drawn and animated in Kricfalusi’s style is a little odd. The fact that UFC commissioner White personally conceived of the campaign, and was determined to find space for UFC-branded content on Adult Swim, is the sort of weird detail that helps explain just how hands-on and unusual the MMA league is (you don’t see Roger Goodell calling up his favorite animators to plead with them to do branded shorts for the NFL, anyway). And those who’ve been anticipating Kricfalusi’s long-simmering Cans Without Labels–which stars George Liquor, and which Kricfalusi successfully Kickstarted back in 2013, and which very nearly had its premiere this summer–can get a glimpse of what to expect when the project finally reaches fruition.