Startup raises millions for line of straight-edge “thirst-murdering” water

Screenshot: Liquid Death (YouTube)

I can generally suss out whether a brand is attempting self-parody with a certain ad campaign, but truth be told, I am not certain about Liquid Death. Liquid Death is a new line of 16-ounce canned waters—they look like beer cans—created by a former Netflix creative director and his partners, marketed to the “straight-edge” punk rock consumer under the tagline “Murder Your Thirst.” The company just raised $1.6 million dollars in its recent round of funding, bringing total funding to more than $2 million. Apparently, everyone else is confident in the viability of canned water that promises to “instantly decapitate your thirst.”

There’s a weird cadre of tech and entertainment people backing this venture: Liquid Death’s leadership team includes aforementioned ex-Netflix creative director Mike Cessario and Mr. Pickles co-creator Will Carsola, and according to The Washington Post, Twitter cofounder Biz Stone, Away co-founder Jen Rubio, and Dollar Shave Club founder Michael Dubin all kicked in cash.

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Cessario seems serious about the straight-edge, punk-rock angle, telling Business Insider he felt all existing water brands are marketed to “Whole Foods yoga moms.” (By that extension, though, shouldn’t Cessario also be looking into punk-rock toilet paper, or punk-rock batteries, or straight-edge plastic cling wrap? Maybe he is.) For those who didn’t grow up adding punk shows in church basements, straight-edge is a sub-genre referring to people who don’t drink or smoke or do drugs, but do listen to punk or metal music. Cessario maintains that water and hydration are in fact, very punk.

“If you think about it, it makes sense, everything metal and punk is extreme,” Cessario tells Business Insider. “Being vegan is extreme, protesting the deforestation is extreme.”

He positions the brand as eco-conscious, citing its recyclable aluminum packaging and pledge to donate 5 cents from every can sold to ocean clean-up efforts. How the water’s sourcing from an Austrian spring plays into its green efforts isn’t mentioned.

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If you’re captivated by the Thirst-Murdering™—no joke, it’s trademarked—product, you can purchase a 12-pack of cans for $21.96 via Liquid Death’s website, or “Sell Your Soul” for a free pack of water with your first order, plus access to Liquid Death merch. Rock on?

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About the author

Kate Bernot

Kate Bernot is managing editor at The Takeout and a certified beer judge.