Liquid Death Pits Its Water and Tea Against Back Sweat
Jul 15, 2023
Liquid Death's latest video might leave you tongue-tied, with a bad taste in your mouth. Then again, maybe you'll just shrug and roll your eyes.
Someone trolled the brand by asserting, "I'd rather lick sweat of a fat guy's back than drink Liquid Death." Naturally, LD tapped massive Zack "Zackass" Holmes for a quickie campaign.
Yes, he sweats. And yes, subjects actually compare the flavor of his perspiration to the brand's offerings.
By past standards, this one ranks as a middling gross-out. It's probably less upsetting than previous taste tests or that plastic-surgery foray. There's a distinct lack of enemas, no rampant profanity, and it's surely not as weird and wonderful as those full-length albums based on the brand's hate mail.
There's a Zackass-sized question here: At what point does this stuff fail to shock and entertain? If ALL the brand ever creates is dark, gory, grody content, the approach gets tired. And predictable. It simply loses impact.
Are we approaching that point, with even hardcore fans weary of the shenanigans?
Now, some brands proclaim themselves "edgy" and boast of their "anti-advertising." To its credit, Liquid Death offers the real deal. The company's produced subversive, in-your-face stuff for years. Big props there, for sure.
But, here's the twist: Peel back the quivering, sweat-soaked layers, and there's nothing "anti" about this advertising at all. It's just that: advertising. Nothing more nor less. Despite its fierce outsider attitude—again, kudos for that—it's ultimately calculated to move merch, fuel product extensions and boost the bottom line.
And now, alas, we may have hit diminishing returns. When this one hit my in-box, I sighed. Ah yes, They're at it again. Slurping back sweat. Jackass ties. Yucky stuff. Got it. For me, on this one at least, the thrill was gone.
As for what comes next, well ... we'll get more branded blood, guts and faux-horror, presumably. Maybe some of it will prove transcendently icky and build bilious buzz—until Coke or Pepsi swoop in and make a buyout offer that ownership can't refuse.
After that—perhaps not at first, but inevitably—we'll see Liquid Death hyped by sugary K-pop sensations, TikTok trifles and sanitized spokes-folks du jour.
That's when I'll raise an aluminum can and toast bygone days when Tony Hawk's blood decorated skateboards, and curse the sterile streaming sameness flowing like tepid water from a murky mountain spring.