Kids drink ‘Liquid Death’ & everyone’s okay with it. Here’s why 💀

Akshay Lakra 🧭
4 min readMar 8, 2023
A young girl drinking Liquid Death (Image courtesy: Liquid Death Advertisement)

I am serious & though the brand that I am about to talk about doesn’t take things seriously, I do. Kids are drinking ‘Liquid Death’ and everyone seems to like it.

If you don’t already know what is ‘Liquid Death’, you might be so confused right now. Don’t worry I will break it down for you. I will

Liquid Death is a canned drinks brand that has taken the internet & customers by storm. It’s currently the fastest-growing drinks brand in the US and has had better retail success than any other drinks company in the past.

Since its launch, the company has scaled to a $700 Million valuation, earned around $130 Million in revenue last year, and is the most followed drinks brand on Tik Tok with over 3 Million followers.

But what does it sell?

Water! (Well, water in a Beer Can basically).

They’ve put a weird but crazy branding twist to ‘Water’ & young kids too are loving it. It’s a perfect brand to understand Branding & how we can work around marketing to build a compelling business. Let’s take a deep ‘dive’ into Liquid Death 👇Shall we?

Liquid Death is the funkiest yet healthiest drink brand started by Mike Cessario, an Ex-Creative Director at Netflix, Nestle, Gary V Media, and many more. The brand is a culmination of every experience he has had in his life from playing rock music to designing to being the advert guy. The marketing strategy of Liquid Death makes it evident that marketing has been baked into the product & it’s the sole reason why people are loving it.

The Idea & Validation:

At 2008, Mike at a Rock Music Tour realized that energy drinks promoted the artists heavily. But the cans used on stage actually had water (and not energy drinks) in them to keep the artists hydrated. So why not build a water brand that’s as cool as an energy drink brand and consumable without fooling the customers?

He knew the idea was crazy & he had to validate it. Mike shot an ad worth $1500 dollar & spent $3500 on ads & one video ad later, Liquid Death went viral. The ad got 3 Million views. Everyone wanted to have a hand on it but there was no product. This led Mike to raise the first round of funding and start rolling the product in the market. And, in only 1 month, it sold products worth $100000 alone.

But why name it Liquid Death?

It grabbed your attention, didn’t it? It’s for the same reason. Mike was inspired to make drinking water fun, and in the process observed that all the junk food brands had quirky branding, propelling users to buy more. So can’t it be done for Water? It’s the healthiest drink of all. The core principle of the brand was to take a boring product and do fun with it weirdly.

The branding of Liquid death makes it super unique leveraging the principles of the ISOLATION EFFECT. This effect points out that we tend to remember things that stand out from the crowd. In the market where water brands have used beautiful & curvy bottles made of plastic, I bet you will never forget ‘Liquid Death’.

Not just the packing, the brand has a tone of a heavy metal band. It talks of murder and killing and is very hip for people to like it more. Mike believes that once the person experiences the visuals, designs & tone, people are bound to pay attention, grab the can out of all the other bottles available, take a pic, and share it ahead. The tone of ‘Liquid Death’ is that a challenger who ‘murders the plastics’, propagates healthy living, and makes it fun to drink ‘water’.

The marketing genius of Mike has made the brand propel to a cult brand with people even adding Merchandise like jackets, hoodies & mugs while buying water. Not joking! Last year around 50% of the people who bought water from the online website, also added merch to their cart during checkout.

But is marketing enough?

Now the creators obviously have baked branding into the brand but will the brand with no clear differentiation last for long? Is it a marketing gimmick that’s not built to last forever? Mike, the CEO thinks otherwise. He believes in making drinking healthier drinks cooler. Plenty of other brands like Red Bull and Monster have been doing this for ages and it’s most widely seen in the junk food industry. He wants water to be as quirky and hip as its non-healthy alternates. Now he has been doing it, in his style.

Quick break! I have attached a few marketing materials for Liquid Death at the end. Do check out it, have fun, and don’t forget to come back to this article.

What’s my take on it?

We humans are hard-wired to identify differences and thus when I heard about the brand, I read through its marketing copies, watched a bunch of videos, and fell in love with its branding power. I don’t want to comment on the longevity of the brand but surely it teaches us a lesson about how you can differentiate your business just in terms of your branding.

Website: 🌐

First Ad that went viral: 📺

Mike’s story: 📢

YouTube Channel: 🚀

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Akshay Lakra 🧭

A Marketer amid the chaos . Read more about Marketing, Growth & Startups & let's together point the Growth Compass 🧭