Q&A: How Liquid Death puts entertainment over marketing

'We're closer to a writer’s room than a traditional marketing department'

With the launch of P.E.T.U. – People for the Ethical Treatment of the Undead, non-alcoholic drinks brand Liquid Death, have put out a PSA to save the zombies.

Andy Pearson

Why would a beverage company want to save zombies? Andy Pearson, VP of Creative at Liquid Death, explains that ‘as a mission-driven brand’, it aligns with their values. It’s also part of a new collaboration with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III.

In this interview MediaCat Magazine’s Content Editor, Grace Gollasch, talks to Pearson about the creative process behind the campaign, their in-house marketing approach, and creating long-form multimedia comedy over traditional advertising.

How did the collaboration between Liquid Death and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III come about, and what inspired the partnership?

The partnership came about naturally. We met the team over at Activision recently, and there was a lot of mutual admiration and excitement. It quickly turned into a question of what would happen if Liquid Death existed in the world that Call of Duty had created in its latest game.

Can you share some insights into the creative process behind Liquid Death’s latest campaign and how it aligns with the brand’s overall image and values?

When we partner with a reality bending entertainment franchise like this (or The Boys) we ask ourselves how we would fit into that fantasy world or what Liquid Death would do in it. In this case, we imagined what Liquid Death would do in a world full of zombies. And of course, as a mission-driven brand, we would work against the killing of innocent zombies.

How has the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III influenced Liquid Death’s campaign strategy, and what role does the gaming community play in the brand’s outreach?

Call of Duty has built a massive community around its games, including robust content channels. We have as well. So this was an opportunity to cross-pollinate the two and bring them crashing together in an unexpected way. Call of Duty has nearly as many active monthly users as the Super Bowl has viewers so gaming’s importance can’t be underestimated.

Could you tell us more about Liquid Death’s unique marketing approach, including its use of beer can packaging and celebrity partnerships with people like Steve-O and Tony Hawk?

We simply put entertainment over marketing. We hate corporate marketing as much as anyone else, so our goal is just to make something that’s going to be the best thing someone sees in their feed that day. We have a great crew of people in-house who have their own bands or have created their own TV shows, so they get entertainment.

And then we partner with celebrities and brands who want to have fun too. So it’s much closer to a writer’s room most of the time than a traditional advertising agency or marketing department. On top of that, we produce everything ourselves so we have ultimate control. It’s really more like writing a long-form multimedia comedy show than creating marketing.

How has Liquid Death’s bold and humorous viral video content contributed to its success and cult following?

Advertising is just day-trading attention. We want to put stuff out in the world that people genuinely love and that they connect with. If you laugh along with someone, that’s such a more authentic, real connection. There have been more than 300 people who have shared their Liquid Death tattoos on social media, and I think they’d agree.

Any collaborations, events, or initiatives with the gaming community that we can look forward to in the near future?

We have more coming soon, but can’t share any details just yet. Nice try though.

Featured image: Liquid Death campaign for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III

Grace Gollasch, Former Content and Social Media Editor at MediaCat Magazine

Grace relocated from Australia to London in July 2023, joining the MediaCat Magazine team in September 2023. Before making the move, Grace spent a year and a half at Mediaweek, Australia’s largest media trade publication, where she was a journalist and social media manager.

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