- Premium water brand "Liquid Death" is making a splash among millennial consumers thanks to an edgy marketing campaign, according to Ad Week. Brand creator Mike Cessario told the publication that his team married the "fun, irreverent" advertising usually associated with energy drinks and beer with a healthy product to attract this demographic.
- Liquid Death's campaign includes a two-minute funny video that positions water as the most dangerous drink in the world. In less than 2 months, the ad gained 1.2 million views on Facebook. It's average shares per post, likes per post and engagement percent has dwarfed that of Monster, Red Bull and bottled water rivals.
- Liquid Death’s packaging is a departure from traditional beverages aimed at younger consumers. Unlike the bright colors and flashy type typically used, Liquid Death’s can more closely resembles that of craft beer. Cessario says when placed next to other youth-focused products, Liquid Death's water will stand out against its competitors.
Naming a life-supporting beverage "Liquid Death" is certainly an unconventional way to capture consumer attention. While most competing brands tout health benefits and showcase images of soothing mountain springs or waterfalls, this new brand embraces water's dangerous side.
Company founder Mike Cessario told Ad Week that today’s youth is very focused on health and better-for-you products. However, it’s often junk food that uses branding that younger consumers can relate to. By taking the healthiest beverage on the planet and marketing it in a cheeky, rebellious way, Cessario hopes to deliver a desired product aesthetic to an underserved demographic.
The name Liquid Death quickly establishes who the brand's target audience is. And while its counter-culture message seems like it could be a slam dunk for teens and young adults, it will likely alienate their parents. The video does, after all, poke fun at yoga moms and features an actor simulating water boarding with the product at the end of the spot. But this us-versus-them positioning that touts Liquid Death as the real deal compared to bottles "designed to be yoga accessories," could boost its premium allure for younger consumers.
It seems Liquid Death also will be cost competitive with traditional water brands, too. The company is currently accepting pre-orders for its 12 packs, which will ship for $1.50 per can. This price point will be crucial, as the premium water space is already crowded with trendy upstarts as well as heavy-hitter legacy manufacturers.
Bottled water surpassed carbonated soft drinks in 2016 to become the largest beverage category by volume in the U.S., according to the Beverage Marketing Corporation. Within this growing space there are a number of different branches to appeal to different consumers. Boxed water is geared toward shoppers concerned about the environmental impact of plastic bottles. So-called "raw water" is an option for people more worried about the effects of fluoride than E.Coli. Sparkling water is a category that continues to have exponential growth as consumers move away from soda in favor of healthier alternatives.
It will be interesting to see if marketing will be enough to set Liquid Death apart in this space. Many manufacturers are trying to stand out by sporting labels like "alkaline infused", "vapour distilled" and "iceberg water" to stand out from competitors, but studies show that 35% of American consumers are confused by these on-pack claims. If Liquid Death succeeds in its unique marketing push, it could have a killer brand on its hands.