When you think about it, bottled water is party to some of the most ludicrous branding there is. Guys, it's just water; the same stuff that comes out of your taps, and you're paying a premium for it because it comes in a pretty bottle with an on-trend palette. You idiots.
So our initial reaction to the launch of a frankly preposterous new brand of water, complete with matching packaging design (opens in new tab), was just a little jaundiced. There's so much to hate about Liquid Death. For starters, it's called Liquid Death. It comes in a can that makes it look like some kind of cheap and nasty energy drink. There's a horrible cartoon to promote it. Also, it's called Liquid Death; we realise we've already mentioned that but we felt it needed emphasising. Liquid. Death.
It's by far the stupidest piece of branding we've seen in quite a while, and somehow we've come to love it. Liquid Death is the brainchild of an unlikely foursome, comprised of Mike Cessario, whose background is in advertising and marketing, a heavy metal bartender called Pat Cook, manufacturing expert JR Riggins and animator Will Carsola, best known for Adult Swim's Mr Pickles.
- Traditional branding is dead (opens in new tab)
Together they conceived a plan to tear a strip off bottled water marketing clichés and instead create a water brand that's as stupid and entertaining as branding for less healthy drinks such as energy drinks and beer.
It's fair to say they've succeeded; Liquid Death is spectacularly over-the-top, without so much as a hint of subtlety to it. And while the brand identity is unashamedly thick as mince, the packaging is a stroke of eco-genius.
By putting its water in an aluminium can, Liquid Death is instantly a lot more environmentally friendly than every water brand that puts out its product in a plastic bottle; Liquid Death points out that aluminium cans are far and away the most sustainable beverage container by virtually every measure. In your face, Evian.
So stupid that it's actually pretty brilliant, Liquid Death has already attracted the right sort of attention; according to Business Insider (opens in new tab), it's just raised $1.6 million in fresh seed funding. And if you want to taste some of that delicious Liquid Death for yourself (spoilers: it's just water), it's available to order online now (opens in new tab).
- 18 controversial moments in logo design and branding (opens in new tab)
- Can you guess the brand from its original logo? (opens in new tab)
- 21 outstanding uses of colour in branding (opens in new tab)