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By Kendra Barnett, Associate Editor

July 26, 2023 | 6 min read

The canned water brand, which has made waves with its viral marketing stunts, is back with a new ad starring Zach ‘Zackass’ Holmes.

Liquid Death – the canned water and iced tea brand known for pulling off ludicrous, envelope-pushing stunts such as hiring a real-life witch to influence the outcome of Super Bowl LVI, teaming up with porn star Cherie DeVille and launching a spoof ‘enema kit’ with Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker – has launched a new ad.

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Viewers might be able to guess the concept of the 90-second spot based on its on-the-nose title, ‘Better Than Back Sweat? Official Taste Test.’ On a recent stint of producing marketing based on bad reviews and online digs, Liquid Death found inspiration for this ad in a tweet reading: “I’d rather lick sweat off a fat guy’s back than drink Liquid Death.” So the brand tapped Zach ‘Zackass’ Holmes of Jackass fame to produce a liquid for everyday consumers to compare with Liquid Death’s water and iced tea: back sweat.

The results of the taste test are about what one would expect. Near the end of the ad, an automated feminine voice made popular on TikTok claims: “It’s official, 10 out of 10 real people prefer the taste of Liquid Death over licking the sweat off a fat guy’s back.”

The brand’s team of in-house creatives developed and executed the spot. Speaking about the motivation behind the campaign, Andy Pearson, the brand’s vice-president of creative, tells The Drum: “The internet is so full of semi-anonymous hot takes from people just looking to do a drive-by commenting. But it’s hard to know if other people agree. As the third most-followed beverage brand on Instagram and TikTok in the world, we’re always listening very carefully. So as long as people continue to leave us genuine feedback about our products like this, we’ll be forced to continue performing more market research.”

The spot represents the brand’s third installment of its taste test series. Last year, Liquid Death launched ‘The Liquid Death Blind Taste Test’ to mark the release of its new flavors, comparing its $1.99 tall boys with some of the most expensive ‘liquids’ on earth, including beluga caviar, Spanish squid ink and a blended Japanese wagyu cheeseburger. Consumers were pictured spitting up many of the alternatives.

To follow up the first installment, the brand produced ‘The Liquid Death Blind Taze Test,’ daring self-proclaimed Liquid Death haters to blindly rank packaged water brands. Those who ranked Liquid Death as the worst of the bunch would be awarded $1,000; any other selection would result in a shock from a Taser administered by a certified instructor.

The new spot promotes Liquid Death’s new low-calorie iced teas, which were launched in March. The company, valued at around $700m, recently relocated its production from Austria to the US.

Credits:

Co-founder/CEO: Mike Cessario

SVP of marketing: Dan Murphy

VP of creative: Andy Pearson

VP of marketing: Greg Fass

VP of design: Frank Dresmé

Creative director: Will Carsola

Associate creative director: Stu Golley

Senior brand manager: Tia Sherwood

Senior social media manager: Rachael Mumford

Senior nihilist: Brendan Kelly

Video editor: Tyler Beasley

Executive producer/director: Johnny Eastlund

1st assistant director: Danielle Hanson

Senior producers: Tatianna Rodriguez, Cookie Walukas

Production coordinator: Rylee Brown

Director of photography: Jackson Montemayor

Camera operators: John Beatty, Jason Vizzini

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