Death knocked on my door the other day courtesy of my FedEx guy…
When I say death I’m talking about Liquid Death—water that will violently annihilate any and all of your dehydration.
I was turned onto it after my sister shared their irreverent Instagram with me a few weeks ago. The name alone was captivating enough, then back it up with heavy metal-themed H20 posters and psychedelic grunge cans and you’ve got my full attention.
“Murder Your Thirst”
The words embodied everything that you would imagine in that of a cheap beer sold exclusively in back-door Brooklyn venues. If you’re a fan of design badassery, you can imagine 20-somethings saluting these words as an up-and-coming Nirvana cover band rips the stage with ear-numbing rock notes.
Like any decent writer, I knew the real juicy stuff—that raw, uncut, content—comes to the email inbox. So I took a chance and forked over my information in exchange for what I hoped would be a rousing new relationship with water.
Here’s what happened when I let Liquid Death into my life…
Minutes after I joined their email list digital cult, I was strategically stabbed with an email that reminded me what was going on.
Subject Line: “Your thirst deserves to die…”
My fingers couldn’t help but click the notification as it flashed across my screen. With a quick swipe, I was staring Liquid Death in the face.
Just like that, I had joined a cult for clear fluid consumption–sorry, mom.
What I quickly realized was that this “cult” was much bigger than I had anticipated, and all of its members were devout followers—one could say H2only kind of people.
Before I go any further, let me tell you a little bit about this fatal beverage brand.
The fast and terrifying rise of Liquid Death…
Liquid Death was started after Mike Cessario attended Warped Tour circa 08’ and noticed that bands were putting water inside energy drink cans during their performances.
As a punkpreneur and prior band member, he knew the ropes of the scene and used his ad business experience with brands like Toyota and Nestle, to drive the creative approach that became the face of Liquid Death.
After shooting a commercial for $1.5k and spending $3k on Facebook ads, the death drink had more followers than big-bottle brand, Aquafina. From there, it picked up a casual $12 million in funding from major investors (I’m talking juggernauts) and they crafted a killer strategy that was so simple it would make some marketers want to off themselves.
The idea: make something boring as hell awesome.
What is more boring than water? Nothing.
What came next was a whirlwind for the brand as it skyrocketed sales and dominated the shelves of Whole Foods. Did I mention, they launched this entire death trap at the beginning of COVID? Talk about taking advantage of the times.
Here’s a taste of what they’re all about…
Now, back to my encounter with death…
What happened I’ll spare you the details as it got pretty gory, but I will tell you their violent ways aren’t as off-putting as one might think. To be honest, they’re rather refreshing.
Try it for yourself and see if you or your thirst can survive the journey that mine took when I shared my precious information. You’ll be surprised at how tasty death can be.
Now that Liquid Death has come and gone through my home, rather fast I may add (*cough, cough* send me more), I want to spare the details of what one can learn from letting death course through their veins and sit in their stomach for a week.
The mind never forgets a deadly tagline.
I can attest to this from personal experience. From the moment Liquid Death arrived on my doorstep, I stopped referring to the consumption of H20 as “drinking water”. Now in my home, people exclusively “murder their thirst.”
Like any great tagline, it is simple, clear, and gets the message across loud and clear for everyone to see. It also translates beyond a tagline, permeating a lifestyle that is driven by the consumption of a positive substance.
But best of all, they use tagline to drive everything that they create, giving the brand a humanity that most beverage brands cannot achieve.
Simple weapons (aka marketing tools) can kill anyone (aka the competition).
Never did I think that consuming water was “hard”, but stats show that most Americans across the board don’t consume enough water every single day. Similarly, those who were consuming water were doing it in millions of plastic bottles a minute—literally.
What did Liquid Death do about it? They took it upon themselves to rebrand the most boring and most important nutritional element in the entire world—and they started by changing its name.
The irony alone is something you can’t ignore—if you don’t drink water you die, if you drink this water, your thirst dies. I mean, give credit to the team for being the first to take such a cynical approach to a simple, life-giving task.
It’s a humble reminder to all entrepreneurs and marketers out there that simplicity can murder the competition when you least expect it.
Don’t attempt to destroy everyone…save it for those who deserve it.
Liquid Death knew exactly what they were doing when they set out on a mission to kill the thirst of millions—the millions of youth, teens, adults, and elders that wanted something more than water, something deadly.
They didn’t spare their time for those who stood in the way like the traditional suburban mom and sweater-knitting grandmother, nor did they bat an eye at the prim and proper people who prefer to drink their water through a straw.
As I said, they were ruthless in their quest to kill the thirst of those who needed it the most. In doing so, they cemented themselves into a group of loyal customers who will drink their product till death do they part.
Until we meet again Liquid Death…
For now, I am still recovering from my escapade with death and am eagerly awaiting my next box to arrive once again. Until then I will continue telling all those I know to murder their own thirst, while I do the same.
And if you’re thinking about giving death a taste for yourself, click the link here to see it face to face.
If you’re looking for more killer marketing tips that will slice the competition, join The Recipe for nuggets of deadly marketing knowledge that come out every Friday.Jake Hackman