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Liquid Demise combines canned water with viral advertising and marketing

In a warehouse-like constructing within the Los Angeles group of Marina del Rey, a handful of staff sit at computer systems subsequent to a 16-foot-wide skateboard ramp.

“I skateboard, a few different individuals skateboard, we sponsor some skate boarders,” stated Mike Cessario, co-founder and CEO of beverage startup Liquid Demise. “Once we received an workplace, the concept was that we will make it extra like a clubhouse.”

In 2017, Cessario, a longtime promoting inventive who had beforehand labored on advertising and marketing campaigns for Netflix and Natural Valley, launched a industrial for Liquid Demise canned water. The product did not exist but, however the industrial went viral.

“The video ended up getting thousands and thousands of views,” he stated. “The web page had extra followers than Aquafina inside just a few months, so I believe we knew that we had been onto one thing that may very well be actually large.”

After discovering success with Natural Valley’s “Save The Bros” marketing campaign, Cessario was impressed to create an irreverent water model.

At this time, Liquid Demise’s merchandise rank among the many top-selling consuming waters on Amazon and may be bought in 60,000 shops nationwide. In a latest fundraising spherical, the corporate was valued at $700 million.

Cessario attributes the corporate’s speedy rise partly to viral advertising and marketing campaigns, similar to promoting a limited-edition skateboard adorned with paint infused with skateboard legend Tony Hawk’s blood or making a heavy metallic album impressed by unfavourable web feedback concerning the firm.

“We understand that 98% of individuals really hate advertising and marketing,” Cessario advised “Market” host Kai Ryssdal. “If you can also make individuals giggle, they are going to have a deeper connection together with your model, whatever the practical variations of your liquid.” The next is an edited transcript of Ryssdal and Cessario’s dialog at Liquid Demise’s headquarters in Southern California.

Kai Ryssdal: We should always again up and clarify what Liquid Demise is for individuals who should not acquainted. What is the 30-second pitch on this firm?

Mike Cesario: We’re attempting to make well being and sustainability 50 instances extra enjoyable. Sometimes, all probably the most enjoyable, hilarious advertising and marketing over the past 30 years is all for junk meals — alcohol, power drinks, sweet. Like, what are the funniest marketing campaign most individuals bear in mind? It is Bud Mild, Snickers, Carls Jr., whereas wholesome meals would not actually ever market in that enjoyable, irreverent, youth tradition approach.

Ryssdal: Esta bien. I need you to do one thing for me: I need you to learn the blurbs on the aspect of this will for me.

Ryssdal reads the again of a can of Liquid Demise, which says it’s useless set on murdering thirst. (Maria Hollenhorst/Market)

Cesario: I believe it would be funnier for those who learn it.

Ryssdal: Really, perhaps it might be…[reading from the can]: “This infinitely recyclable can of stone-cold mountain water got here straight from the Alps to homicide your thirst. When a gaggle of youngsters units off into the mountains for a weekend of consuming common water in plastic bottles, they grew to become hunted by an aluminum can of mountain water that was useless set on murdering their thirst and recycling their souls,” after which it goes on from there in that vein. Initially, I really like this. However second of all, do you drink beer in any respect?

Cesario:Yeah.

Ryssdal: OKAY. Are you aware who Greg Koch is from Stone Brewing?

Cesario: Not.

Ryssdal: OKAY. Stone, which was the unique form of West Coast IPA, has a really related vibe to this. They have gargoyles on their cans.

Cessary: Oh yeah, Smug Bastard.

Ryssdal: Yeah. That is form of in that vein of, “ what, we’re simply having a very good time.”

Cessary: Yeah, and craft beer was positively an inspiration from a model perspective once we had been creating Liquid Demise, as a result of I assumed a number of the coolest can designs and model names had been on the earth of craft beer, like Smug Bastard. And like, nobody thinks that is bizarre. Nobody’s saying “Oh, my God, craft beer firm creates beer referred to as ‘Smug Bastard.’ Is that this OK?”

Ryssdal: Yeah, however you are doing water, man. Youngsters are consuming this!

Cessary: Precisely!

Ryssdal: Which is nice, we would like children consuming water. However do we would like a 12-year-old carrying round a can that claims “Liquid Demise” with a cranium on it?

Cesario: A hundred percent. And there are a whole lot of fogeys that agree. Like, we get messages saying, “Liquid Demise, thanks. Lastly, my 9-year-old is worked up to drink water as a substitute of soda,” and it is all due to a model. It appears like one thing cool that you just’re not speculated to have, however it’s actually the healthiest factor you possibly can drink. We have now people who find themselves like, “Hey, I do not actually wish to drink alcohol, and now I really feel far more part of the event after I can stroll round with a Liquid Demise, and other people aren’t saying ‘Oh, how come you are not consuming?’”

A video launched by Liquid Demise reveals children consuming the irreverently branded water.

Ryssdal: Who’s your competitors then? As a result of the beverage house—and now the nonalcoholic water house—is populated by gigantic firms. And for as a lot success you are having, you ain’t it. Do you are worried concerning the Cokes and the Pepsis, otherwise you’re like, “Yeah, you do your factor and I am gonna do mine”?

Cesario: We do not fear about that in any respect. As a result of the toughest factor—anyone can put water in a can, proper? However that is not why we’re profitable.

Ryssdal: OK, wait, so why are you profitable?

Cesario: As a result of we have constructed a extremely sturdy model that has created official fandom and obsession for the product. And that’s one thing that Coke and Pepsi traditionally have been actually dangerous at doing, which is why they purchase firms extra so than they create viral manufacturers or fandom on their very own.

Ryssdal: Your inventory and commerce is viral advertising and marketing, proper? So how do you, as a advertising and marketing man, gauge what is going on to work?

Cesario: That is the billion-dollar query.

Ryssdal: Actually, the billion-dollar query.

Cesario: Yeah, for those who can work out the way to constantly do this, you are going to have a fairly large enterprise, and I believe we have had a reasonably nice monitor document. We have now a very good course of for figuring out what’s a good suggestion, what’s a terrific thought, what’s a foul thought.

Ryssdal: Is that, like, your company secret? What is the secret to figuring that out?

Cesario: In order for you the key, you should buy the corporate for $10 billion. I’ve used this analogy a ton these days — we take into consideration our advertising and marketing staff extra like “Saturday Night time Stay.” Like, we’re an leisure machine and we’re continuously attempting to place what we put out on the extent of an SNL sketch. Like, regardless that this may be a industrial, what might legitimately discover its approach onto “Saturday Night time Stay,” and other people could be like, “Oh, that is actually humorous.” And if you are able to do that, I imply, one thing like “Saturday Night time Stay” has been round [more than] 30 years as a result of they regularly usher in the best inventive minds. They’re at all times simply making enjoyable of what is occurring in tradition for the time being, bringing in attention-grabbing celebrities and other people as company to form of come into their bizarre world, and that is what we have been doing as nicely.

Ryssdal: You are an leisure firm with a water model hooked up?

Cesario: Precisely.

Liquid Demise’s CEO stated he thinks of his advertising and marketing staff as “an leisure machine,” much like “Saturday Night time Stay” writers.

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