Liquid Death shocks Internet trolls with a Blind Taze Test
Liquid Death is the worst tasting water? The brand asked two Internet haters to prove it under the threat of electroshock.
The really funny thing is: the Liquid Death team tazed themselves first. But before we get to that, let’s review Liquid Death’s latest stunt.
The popular canned water brand, which just received a $700m valuation, decided to take on their Internet trolls. They flew two people, who said “Liquid Death was the worst water they ever tasted,” to Los Angeles. There they blindfolded them and offered each of them $1,000 if they could pick Liquid Death from among 10 bottled water brands. If they failed, they were tazed.
“We get a lot of haters on the Internet,” says Andy Pearson, vice-president of creative, Liquid Death. “People flippantly say all sorts of things. It really interesting to confront them face-to-face and have them put their money where their mouth is. A lot of people were initially interested, but then thought better of it.”
The likelihood of electrocution may have had something to do with the change in heart. Pearson says in fairness, the staff worked with a professional security instructor who sampled a variety of tazers and stun guns on them. “It’s just a standard advertising job here … Everyone has different pain tolerances. It’s more surprising than anything.”
A high bar for low brow humor
This stunt follows on the heels of the Liquid Death Taste Test. To launch its new flavors line and hype its affordable price point ($1.99), it challenged blindfolded consumers to compare its product with the most expensive liquids in the world. Those products were liquified Beluga caviar ($580), Lobster Béarnaise Sauce ($50) and other nastiness.
The key to the campaign’s success was the visceral reactions of the participants/victims. The Taze Test follows a similar formula. There is a Jackass-like quality to watching grown men get thrown from their styles after picking the wrong waters. Afterwards, they apologize. One says: “I’m sorry. I’ll buy y’alls product now.” At the conclusion an announcer happily announces: “Liquid Death. Officially not the worst water two guys from the Internet ever tasted.”
“They said some shitty stuff online when they were anonymous,” says Pearson. “But we hung out with them afterwards and they were great.”
This is the first time, Liquid Death gave some love to its haters. It created two punk albums, Greatest Hates and Greatest Hates, Vol. II, with lyrics comprising of actual social media hate comments. Both albums are available on Spotify.
These efforts are part of a tapestry of comedic and edgy efforts. The Drum’s recent greatest hits compilation counted down the top-five. It ranged from Tony Hawk putting his blood in a Liquid Death skateboard to porn star Cherie DeVille stumping for sustainability. We expect more such shocking stunts to follow.