All Liquid Death sells is water—but the brand’s tallboys emblazoned with dripping skulls, calligraphy and flavors such as “mango chainsaw” generate as much buzz as alcohol brands, if not more.
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The edgy marketing and packaging and smart social media strategy are fueling stellar sales for the canned water brand. Revenue jumped from $45 million last year to $130 million this year and is expected to double by 2023, according to a brand spokesperson.
This growth is the result of an emphasis on entertainment, largely through organic social posts, said VP of Marketing Greg Fass. He is a former competitive snowboarder who developed a keen skepticism toward corporate brands hoping to cash in on his lifestyle.
“When we talk about the success (of a campaign), we talk about wanting to be the best thing you saw on the internet that day,” Fass said. “We’re trying to make stuff that’s genuinely funny, not just advertising funny.” This mindset means that "we have to think much bigger than just water" when it comes to considering competitors and their content, he said.
Fass, who was named one of Ad Age’s 40 Under 40 recipients in September, has said the brand actually hates marketing. That skepticism, fueled by a distrust of traditional corporate ad techniques, has pushed Liquid Death into boundary-stretching creative unlike anything the beverage category has seen.
The brand has capitalized on shock value in its advertising, most recently putting out a video that shows it tasing its haters as punishment for giving incorrect answers in a blind taste test.