The Conquest of Liquid Loss of life: CEO, Co-Founder Mike Cessario on Model’s Fast Rise

With a tagline like “homicide your thirst,” branding bombarded with skull-laden designs and taste names like Mango Chainsaw and Berry It Alive, it’s clear that Liquid Loss of life stands other than its many canned water friends.

Almost 4 years since its basis, the eye-catching beverage is now carried in 16,000 areas throughout the U.S., together with retailers like Complete Meals, Sprouts, 7-Eleven, and Goal, in addition to bars, tattoo parlors, cafes, and liquor shops. As essentially the most adopted water model on TikTok, the second-most adopted water on Instagram and one of many fastest-growing non-alcoholic beverage manufacturers of all time, Liquid Loss of life is reigning supreme.

Co-Founder and CEO Mike Cessario unsurprisingly grew up entrenched in different tradition, enjoying in bands and skateboarding, and he observed most merchandise that catered to that viewers had been power drinks, sodas or junk meals. Years later, Cessario labored in promoting and commenced pitching bolder advert concepts, together with one marketing campaign for the natural business that went viral.

“And that was the second I noticed wellness doesn’t should be boring or boring,” he stated. “I took the talents I realized whereas within the business to deliver the identical entertainment-first branding to wholesome drinks like water.”

Liquid Death
Courtesy of Liquid Loss of life

Whereas one motive was to make well being and wellness cooler and extra accessible, Cessario needed to verify the model was impactful. Every 16.9-ounce Liquid Loss of life tallboy has textual content studying “#DeathToPlastic” and “We donate 10% of earnings from each can bought to assist kill plastic air pollution.” 

Liquid Loss of life is packaged in aluminum as a result of, in contrast to plastic, it’s infinitely recyclable. The model additionally partnered up with non-profits, like 5Gyres, PangeaSeed Basis and The Thirst Mission, that struggle plastic air pollution and supply protected consuming water to communities world wide the place consuming water isn’t instantly out there.

After launching in 2019, Cessario admitted that some mainstream media retailers couldn’t wrap their head across the model or didn’t consider it was simply water. However that was all the level, he stated—to disrupt the multibillion-dollar water class filled with single-use plastic bottles. 

“So some folks bought the joke and a few didn’t, however that made folks love us much more,” he stated. “The model grew exponentially as folks noticed what we had been doing. We continued aligning with communities that believed in us, and that’s how we bought to the place we’re right this moment.”

Liquid Death
Mike Cessario / Courtesy of Liquid Loss of life

Liquid Loss of life was additionally intentional to acquire their water from a pure supply, the Austrian Alps, as Cessario stated the preliminary market analysis discovered that the majority bottled water merchandise had been simply extremely processed municipal faucet water. 

The model launched a glowing water choice in 2020, and afterward, Liquid Loss of life Flavors joined the military (the 2 aforementioned flavors, together with Severed Lime). Cessario stated the group needed to create a product that landed between the “infinite, bland, zero-cal, zero-sugar, zero-carb glowing water” and unhealthy sodas full of sugar.

“Liquid Loss of life Flavors turned their very own class,” Cessario stated. “They’re naturally sweetened with a touch of agave and made with attention-grabbing twists—Severed Lime and Mango Chainsaw each include hints of orange, and Berry It Alive is a mixture of passionfruit and black cherry. Total, our mission is to launch merchandise that, ultimately, assist our fanbase make more healthy selections.”

On Liquid Loss of life’s web site, they admit, “We’re only a humorous water firm who hates company advertising as a lot as you do.” Simply above that assertion is the Thirst Assassin, a cartoon character with eyes the place his nipples must be; one hand gripping a Liquid Loss of life, the opposite gripping his severed head; spikes jutting from his shoulders; and a large, veiny can of Liquid Loss of life fused into his neck the place his head must be. 

You possibly can even be the character for Halloween this 12 months.

“We attempt to not take ourselves too severely,” Cessario stated. “All of our branding makes use of cheeky humor. Whether or not it’s asking folks to actually promote their souls so as to be a part of the Liquid Loss of life Nation Membership or murdering thirst, our model is supposed to make you snigger and be ok with selecting to be more healthy.”

A part of the Liquid Loss of life fanbase, Cessario stated, is made up of the individuals who bought ignored of goal audiences for different well being and wellness manufacturers, which frequently goal one kind of individual. 

Over time, the model turned a favourite throughout the sober and straight-edge communities, too. The Outdated English textual content, melting cranium on the aspect of the can, full-bodied taste, and tallboy measurement all work to create a really perfect non-alcoholic consuming expertise, although Cessario stated concentrating on these communities was by no means a major purpose.

“We’re thrilled that the sober communities proceed to attach a lot with our model,” Cessario stated. “Even when somebody isn’t sober, increasingly more individuals are beginning to search for drink options they’ll get pleasure from at a bar with out getting requested why they aren’t consuming. We’ve gotten such nice suggestions however the general message is that Liquid Loss of life permits folks to skip the alcohol and mix proper in.”

That stated, a Liquid Loss of life fan really doesn’t look any a method, however they often have a humorousness, Cessario stated. He added that greater than 200 folks have tattooed their emblem on themselves and greater than 200,000 “have legally bought their souls to us in an eternally binding contract to hitch the Liquid Loss of life Nation Membership.”

“We’ve additionally gotten messages from mother and father who suppose it’s humorous that their youngsters’ lecturers name them for bringing a can to high school, but in addition thanking us that we lastly have their youngsters excited to drink extra water as a substitute of soda or power drinks,” he stated.

Courtesy of Liquid Loss of life

And the inevitable domination persists, as Liquid Loss of life continues sinking its enamel additional into the tradition at massive. 

Steve-O lately teamed up as a model ambassador to tattoo his throat with Liquid Loss of life Mountain Water as a substitute of tattoo ink, with all the ache and not one of the permanence. 

In December 2021, the corporate made headlines after partnering with Wiz Khalifa as a promoter of their new “Mountain Bong Water” collaboration. It was impressed by a video Wiz filmed himself, pouring Liquid Loss of life into his bong. He stated on the time he solely smokes the very best weed, “so it could solely make sense to pair it with the very best bong water from Liquid Loss of life.”

On a since-deleted web page, the product description learn:

“What makes Liquid Loss of life Mountain Bong Water completely different from our authentic Mountain Water? Completely nothing. We actually simply added the phrase ‘bong’ to this web page. You get the identical nice mountain water from the Alps with the identical pure electrolytes in the identical infinitely recyclable aluminum cans. However Wiz Khalifa likes placing it in his bong so we thought you would possibly too. Nonetheless, our legal professionals say we must always clarify that you need to by no means purchase a bong, take into consideration a bong, write the phrase bong, say the phrase bong, and even draw a bong. In truth, shut out of this web page proper now.”

Cessario stated the broader cultural embrace of Liquid Loss of life goes again to the corporate’s roots, and that whereas it’s a beverage, it’s additionally an leisure model.

“Each single marketing campaign or collab that we do, we do it to deliver consciousness to well being and sustainability however in a approach that’s humorous, simple to digest, and pleasurable. We at all times attempt to diversify the expertise we accomplice up with as a result of we would like anybody to look to Liquid Loss of life and see themselves. Sooner or later, we simply hope to proceed bringing you even greater and higher leisure.”

Courtesy of Liquid Loss of life

Lengthy-time beverage manufacturers like Jones Soda Firm and Pabst Blue Ribbon have since entered the hashish recreation, with THC-infused drinks projected to develop within the U.S. from $915.06 million in 2021 to $19,063.58 million USD in 2028. 

It leaves the query: May customers quickly see a cannabis-infused Liquid Loss of life providing?

“One factor we do know is that water and hashish go collectively very nicely,” Cessario stated. “It is advisable to hydrate. And even sparking water is a greater combine along with your excessive than alcohol most occasions. However no, we don’t have any plans to do something with a cannabis-based product any time sooner or later.”

Nonetheless, followers needn’t fear. Cessario stated Liquid Loss of life nonetheless has a variety of tasks within the works, together with some acquainted faces all through the music, comedy, and sports activities scenes.

Inspecting the model’s continued mainstream presence and staggering progress, it’s exhausting to consider that Liquid Loss of life hasn’t been part of our tradition for longer. Cessario mirrored on the model’s progress, trying on the street forward with a last nugget of charming, on-brand snark.

“Proper now, we’re centered on world domination and making all drinks Liquid Loss of life in the future,” he stated, earlier than including. “Our purpose for Liquid Loss of life is to proceed making a optimistic model that you would be able to simply resonate with.”

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