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    From porn star Cherie DeVille’s PSA to Whiz Khalifa bong water: Liquid Death’s top-5 stunts

    Want to understand just how canned water became one of the hottest products of the year? Here’s the CliffsNotes translation of the ‘Liquid Death Logic’ for marketing. 

    Liquid Death Mountain Water has pledged to “murder your thirst.” At the same time, the canned water brand has been killing it on the marketing and sales front. It recently received a $700m valuation built upon the “Liquid Death logic” it brings to marketing. The Drum editors have selected Liquid Death’s five most creative campaigns to date and invited its vice-president of creative Andy Pearson to give us a behind-the-scenes look at how they were created.

    5. Whiz Khalifa’s ‘finest bong water on earth’

    Show me entity :: 42984

    Idea: Position Liquid Death as a luxury item, but for bongs.

    Background: Whiz Khalifa is an investor in the brand and during a “smoked-out team brainstorm” they came up with a simple idea.

    Liquid Death Logic: “We saw he was actually using Liquid Death in his bong stories that he posts on Instagram. It seemed like a natural idea to turn the simple thing he was doing into the product itself. We created a page on the site, age-gated it and said it was Liquid Death bong water. Same product, but we said it can be used for things other than drinking … [Aside from a boost in sales, the press coverage continues.] Just the other day High Times wrote a story about it and no part of our business is related to cannabis. We were one of the first non-cannabis brands ever covered.”

    4. Hiring a witch in an attempt to fix the Super Bowl

    Show me entity :: 42985

    Idea: Become the first brand to place a wager on the Super Bowl. Then hire a witch to influence the outcome of the big game.

    Background: Amid the newly-relaxed gambling rules, Liquid Death aspired to be the first brand to place a wager on the Super Bowl winner – then they had an even better idea.

    Liquid Death Logic: “I personally learned a lot about spell craft. It is not linear, so it can manifest itself in a lot of ways. [The witch] said there’s a 60% chance it will work. He customized some spells for us. It had a lot to do with timing. He did them during the early hours of the morning timed with astronomical bodies and he cast some spells in-game … We followed along and took credit for the fumbles. All things considered, the only way this could have been better is if the Bengals pulled through and won. Our hope was that the next day the ESPN headline questioned whether we influenced the outcome of the game.”

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    3. The taste of Liquid Death vs. the most expensive products on the planet

    Show me entity :: 42990

    Idea: Spotlight Liquid Death’s brand new flavors and affordable price point by mocking the Pepsi Challenge taste test.

    Background: Liquid Death water challenged blindfolded strangers to compare its new flavored waters (priced at $1.99) against the taste of the most expensive products on the planet. The catch is these products were liquified Beluga caviar ($580), Lobster Béarnaise Sauce ($50) and other things you probably wouldn’t want to drink.

    Liquid Death Logic: “The reaction was funny because some people didn’t get the joke. The comments were: ‘This wasn’t fair. They should be tasting other people’s waters.’ It went over some people’s heads, but a vast of amount people got it. It was a relatively easy concept to launch. The flavors launch was one of the most important things we’d done as a brand. Yet, we landed on this concept in about five minutes. It was simple: how would another brand talk about flavors? Any good marketer, what would they do? Then we said: ‘What Liquid Death logic can we apply to the marketing construct and make it our own?’ We hired Sam Cadman, who was one of the directors from Trigger Happy TV, a British prank show in the 2000s that I grew up watching in my college dorm room. It was really cool to work with him.”

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    2. It takes a porn star to save the planet. Enter Cherie DeVille

    Show me entity :: 42991

    ?Idea: To promote its sustainability message Liquid Death hired adult film actress Cherie DeVille to promote the message ‘Don’t fuck the planet.’

    Background: Right before Earth Day, Liquid Death chose an unorthodox spokesperson to compel the world to choose Liquid Death’s “infinitely recyclable” aluminum over plastic. 

    Liquid Death Logic: “I love this one because it shows the Liquid Death logic of looking at web traffic by pure numbers. Adult websites are always in the top 10 most trafficked sites on the internet. Cherie DeVille is one of best-known actresses in that world. It both was a media and celebrity decision. If you want to reach the most people with ‘the death to plastic messaging,’ go to the place with the most people and use one of the most famous people in that world. One of our employees, Joanna Angel, is an adult film actress herself. She co-directed and co-produced the video. She brought together a whole crew from industry and we filmed it in a house in the valley with an all-real crew. They were great to work with, and it all supported a sex-positive message while keeping it PG.”

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    1. Lil Nas X and Tony Hawk’s ‘na he tweakin’ blood feud

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    Idea: Put investor Tony Hawk’s blood in a line of limited-edition Liquid Death skateboards.

    Background: The brand was looking for a unique way to promote investor Tony Hawk as its first celebrity endorsement. They found it – especially once Lil Nas X took exception to it.

    Liquid Death Logic: “Kiss had a comic book in the ‘70s, with Marvel, that put some of their blood in the ink. This is an homage to that. The idea was: ‘Can we put his blood in a board?’ The success of a celebrity endorsement is in whether the person hawking this product believes in it. You can’t prove it much more than giving up some of your blood to go into the product. It took off in ways we didn’t expect.

    There were four different activities around it:

    1. The press around the board and selling out of it so quickly.

    2. Lil Nas X had his response because he had his blood Nike [Air Max 97 Satan] shoes.

    3. His comment [spawned] the Na He Tweaking meme that almost shut down Instagram. Instagram had to comment on it.

    4. The climax was we got them together to bury the hatchet.”

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    In the end, all these ideas “lit up the internet for different reasons.” The secret? Pearson concludes: “We always think – what way would you market water in a different universe?”

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