Liquid Death punks Big Soda marketing with ‘Pure Sugar’ spoof

Attractive spokespeople may plug sugary soda, but they certainly won’t drink it

Published On
May 03, 2024
A still from Liquid Death's commercial "Liquid Death Proves Decades of Soda Marketing Is BS" showing a blurred out 20 oz cola bottle with a label beside it noting it has "70g sugar," next to a 19.2 oz can of Liquid Death's Cherry Obituary flavored sparkling water with a label beside it noting it only has "4g sugar"

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Liquid Death is taking it to Big Soda through a new spot that tricks models into thinking they were auditioning to be in a commercial for a new soda brand.

The fictious product is a “dehydrated soda” called Pure Sugar, which is, well, pure sugar in a bottle—a visualization evocative of some of the edgy commercials run by SodaStream before its 2018 acquisition by PepsiCo.

While the actors cheerfully testify to Pure Sugar, the ad reminds viewers that “We did what real soda brands have done for decades—pay attractive models to sell sugar bombs to teens.”

When the actors are shown off the set, the tone abruptly changes. None of them will confess to drinking traditional soda but take a Liquid Death offer enthusiastically. “Why would I want so many grams of sugar?” one asks. “Obviously I don’t drink that stuff,” adds a buff shirtless model in low-cut jeans.

 

The ads plug Liquid Death’s flavored sparkling waters, which have 4 grams of sugar per 19.2-oz. can versus 70-73 grams in their 20.-oz. pixelated Big Soda counterparts.

Liquid Death, known for a variety of attention-grabbing creative stunts to advertise its beverages, last month announced it had raised $67 million from strategic partners and new investors including actor Josh Brolin, NFL All-Pro and entrepreneur DeAndre Hopkins, “The Chapelle Show” co-creator Neal Brennan, Derrick Green of the Brazilian heavy metal band Sepultura and Australian comedian Jim Jefferies.