It might be called Liquid Death but the only thing it is supposed to kill is your thirst.
This week, Science Inc raised $1.6 million in seed money to bring CEO Mike Cessario’s canned water startup concept directly to the people.
Yes, you read that right: the latest darling startup is a canned water company called Liquid Death.
Cessario explains “We started Liquid Death with the diabolical plan to completely obliterate bottled water marketing clichés by taking the world’s healthiest beverage and making it just as funny and stupid and entertaining as the unhealthy brands across energy drinks, soda, and beer.”
In his statement, he also notes, “Plastic water bottles are shit. But aluminum cans are far and away the most sustainable beverage container by virtually every measure. #DeathToPlastic.”
If this sounds like a crazy marketing gimmick, you are on the right track. You might be more familiar with Cessario’s work from his time as creative director for Netflix. He also has rock-n-roll background, having played in punk and heavy-metal bands. This is quite likely what led to the idea of shaking up the bottled water industry with a 16.9-oz tall boy of water, emblazoned with a fitting label.
Cessario goes on to say, “We knew the easiest crowd for us is anyone into heavy metal, punk rock, and that kind of world because they immediately get the joke and get the humor and have never seen anything like it.” Of course, he might also be looking directly at the straight-edge punk crowd: a community who definitively abstains from drugs and alcohol. Still, he adds, “What makes this appealing for such a large group is that it feels like a niche thing.”
What might also appeal to the straight-edge crowd is Liquid Death’s plan to donate 5 cents from every can sold to directly benefit ocean cleanup from plastic garbage. And, for the record, you can only buy it online, in packs of twelve; every can costs about $1.83, shipping included. The website also promotes a Liquid Death Country Club which gets you “one FREE VIP 12-pack added to your first order,” with a bunch of branded merchandise and even special invites to private Liquid Death shows.