In an age where almost anything can be contentious on the internet, people are apparently highly offended by the marketing behind Liquid Death’s brutal, tasty water. Today, they celebrate that hate with an album, Greatest Hates.
The album takes real, verbatim hater comments that the brand receives on social media and transforms them into lyrics to 10 angry songs you’ll enjoy again and again. To create these solid gold hates, Liquid Death enlisted the death-defying skills of Gus Rios (Gruesome, ex- Malevolent Creation) as well as Seth Ringer (Eternal), James Malone (Arsis) and Torin Ridgeway and mixed by Matt LaPlant.
We wanted to know a bit more about why people hate savvy ad campaigns so much, so we spoke with the founder and CEO Mike Cessario about the concept.
The idea for your waters is so cool. How did you first come up with the concept for the company and get started?
I grew up playing in punk and metal bands, so I’ve always been involved in the music scene. My bandmates and I were all pretty health conscious, but none of the health and wellness brands we were buying were any fun. Meanwhile, beer, soda, alcohol and junk food brands were all using creative and crazy marketing.
When I set out to start Liquid Death, I wanted to use entertainment to make being healthy more fun and sustainable. Since then, it’s been amazing to see the brand take on a life of its own and connect with people in a way that other wellness brands really never have before.
In the past year, more than 125,000 people have legally “sold their souls” to join the Liquid Death Country Club, including Joe Manganiello, and more than 20 random customers have even gotten actual tattoos of our logo. Even Fat Mike from NOFX is now an investor in the brand.
How did you come up with the idea for this album, and why do you think something so harmless and positive gets so much random hate?
As a polarizing brand, it means we have people who love us so much they’ll never buy another water and even tattoo our brand on their bodies. But it also means we have plenty of haters who don’t get the brand and think it’s the antichrist. It’s impossible to have everyone truly love your brand. True love means there’s going to be true hate.
We started celebrating our haters early on and running Liquid Death ads featuring their social media hate comments. They were the highest-performing ads we have ever done. So, we worked with our agency, Partyland to come up with new fun, ways to celebrate our haters and our “Proudly Not For Everyone” rallying cry. Because haters are generally angry, it made perfect sense to turn their comments into an angry metal album.
Who are some of the people you collaborated with to make this happen, and what was the process like?
We employ an awesome music guy named Blasko who helps us run a lot of our music-based marketing projects. He helped us find some metal musicians in his network, like Gus Rios, who were perfect for creating this kind of album. We were able to create the album fairly quickly. It took us maybe a month or two tops.
On another note, how has your profit-sharing program helped musicians so far, and what good have you seen it do?
It’s been going well. We’ve paid out several thousand dollars in commissions to Death Peddlers over the past couple of weeks. It’s not going to save the day, but it’s just adding another revenue stream for small bands to make a few hundred extra bucks without needing to perform or actually invest any time.
Do you all have anything else cool to announce or promote over the next few months?
Not yet. But you’ll be the first to know ;)
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
So far today, I’ve listened to Gruesome, Sturgil Simpson, Joshua Fit For Battle, and Tears For Fears.