Before we go any further, please familiarize yourself with the below 50-second advertisement for Liquid Death Mountain Water, which suggests drinkers “murder their thirst” through a gory, over-the-top animated short:
While the ad plays like the video version of a satirical Hard Times article, the product is, in fact, 100% real. With that in mind, it’ll come as no surprise that Mike Cessario, the founder of Liquid Death, has a background playing in punk and metal bands. Cessario initially designed the product with straight-edge folks in mind — why does beer get all the snazzy marketing while water gets none? — but ultimately wants the product to appeal to all demographics the same way, say, Metalocalypse did. Speaking to Business Insider, Cessario said:
“Initially some of our thinking was, we wanted to take more inspiration from the beer category because one thing we know in marketing is if you want younger people to want something you have to market to people in their 20s because teens want the thing they can’t have. At first we knew the easiest crowd for us is anyone into heavy metal, punk rock, and that kind of world because they immediately get the joke and get the humor and have never seen anything like it. What makes this appealing for such a large group is that it feels like a niche thing.”
With an eye-catching visual aesthetic that shouldn’t be difficult, as Cessario has called on his background marketing Netflix series such as House of Cards, Stranger Things and Narcos to create quite a compelling visual aesthetic. He’s also tapped his contacts as investors, having recently secured $1.6 million in funding to bring the total so far to $2.25 million. Dollar Shave Club founder and CEO Michael Dubin, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, and luggage startup Away co-founder Jen Rubio all count themselves as backers.
There’s an eco-friendly angle that should appeal to the punk lifestyle, too: Liquid Death uses cans to help avoid the massive waste that plastic bottles produce from manufacturing to disposal. Additionally, the company will be donating $0.05 per can sold to help clean the oceans of plastic waste. The hashtag #deathtoplastic appears in all of the company’s marketing efforts.
Liquid Death is only available online (currently at Amazon) in 12-packs of tall boy cans. The water is “sustainably-sourced” from Austria.
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