Mike Cessario is the CEO and Founder of Liquid Death, an outrageous new canned water brand with quality mountain water engineered to murder your thirst! Liquid Death has made a name for itself as an extremely disruptive force of marketing, and the brand's outlandish marketing stunts are as refreshing as the water itself.
To date, the brand has convinced 180,000 people to sell them their souls, has cursed its water with a real witch and performed a reverse exorcism with an accredited warlock that allegedly put demons into the water. Customers who purchased during this time period were entitled to a coupon for $1 off any exorcism (yes, this is all for real). Recently, to further raise awareness of plastic pollution in the oceans, Liquid Death released a series of plush marine animal stuffed toys called Cutie Polluties that were bloodied and choked with plastic garbage. Additionally, as you can imagine, this is a brand whose unholy approach to marketing inspires a lot of controversy and hate, which is why Liquid Death took their favorite angry online comments and turned them into lyrics for their own death metal album.
Liquid Death also has a very compelling mission, which is to eradicate the over-use of plastic bottles. According to their website, the average aluminum can contains over 70% recycled material, whereby the average plastic bottle contains only 3%. Additionally, aluminum cans are infinitely recyclable, and of all the aluminum produced since 1888, over 75% of it is still in current use. Plastic, on the other hand, technically isn't even recyclable in the first place because it costs so much money to melt it down, sending most of it into landfills and into the ocean. The planet has been overrun by plastic pollution, and Liquid Death is here to do something about it, which is why 10% of profits from every can sold help kill plastic pollution.
Prior to founding Liquid Death, Mike worked in marketing with companies like Vayner Media and worked on multiple viral promotions for Netflix on series like "House of Cards," "Stranger Things," and "Narcos." The entrepreneurial origin story behind Liquid Death is extremely inspirational and a real testament to how putting passion, fun, and personality into a brand can make it into a formidable gamechanger. We get into all of this on this very special episode of Damn Good Brands Origin Stories.
Here are some key takeaways from this conversation with Mike Cessario.
Produced by Simpler Media