The marketing industry was recently saved by death. Liquid Death, that is.
Wait, what? Let me explain.
In recent years, political correctness and self-righteous hipster wokeness has terrified brands and agencies alike, watering down advertising creative industry-wide and driving a reliance on technology over creativity.
Remember when Super Bowl advertising kicked ass? It’s been a while — to the point where we now say things like, “I remember back in the day when Super Bowl ads made you laugh hard enough that you’d fart, cough, laugh, cry write a letter to the FCC and cuddle with kittens concurrently.” But alas, with a few exceptions, Super Bowl ads have largely become yawners.
It seems like advertisers have simply accepted defeat. Marketing has morphed into a pay-to-play proposition, leveraging technology and giving moronic influencers buckets of dollars rather than fearlessly developing creative that is memorable enough that it becomes definitively viral. Rather than punching audiences in the face, we’re geotargeting them or whatever the digitally-driven innovation of the month may be.
Does being disruptive mean you have to create videos of waterboarding or animated characters cutting off people’s heads? No. It works for some brands that chose an edgy path but it doesn’t mean your brand needs to try to be something it is not. What you can do, however, is disrupt the norm by being brave and developing a creative approach that stands out from the rest of your industry (hello, banking industry!) while remaining true to your brand’s values and culture. It just takes creative effort.
Sadly, all of this comes at a time when audiences are so consistently inundated by messaging and ads that the industry should be intensely focused on using amazing creative to break through the morass of clutter that has engulfed humanity.
But alas, I have found a bright light. I’ve been saved by Death — a new startup beverage brand called Liquid Death, which not only promises to “Murder Your Thirst,” but also delivers and environmental message seeking “Death to Plastic.” And its launch campaign should remind all of us — from C-suiters to brand managers to creative directors — that we can be creatively disruptive and don’t need to solely rely on technology to reach audiences today.
Below you’ll find two outlandish, disruptive yet extremely very different creative applications by Liquid Death. Enjoy!
Aaron Perlut is a cofounding partner of Elasticity with some 25 years of diverse experience in journalism, public relations and digital marketing. He is a former senior reputation management counselor at Omnicom company FleishmanHillard, as well as a communications executive for two of the nation's largest energy companies. Throughout his career, Perlut has counseled a range of organizations – Fortune 500s, state governments, professional sports franchises, economic development authorities, well-funded startups and large non-profits – helping manage reputation and market brands across a diverse channels in an evolving media environment.