An Overview of Liquid Death's Entrance Into web3
Liquid Death has an active web3 presence, and the brand has differentiated itself from other traditional bottled water companies with its creative and unconventional marketing. Subverting the notions of marketing and creating an ironic and anti-corporatism brand is what has set Liquid Death apart from its competitors. Eco-activism, environmental sustainability, and promoting alternative culture are three themes consistent with Liquid Death’s style and storytelling.
The Liquid Death Country Club (web2): LDCC is a customer loyalty program, presented in an ironic fashion on their website. To join the club, a customer must ‘sell’ their soul by signing a fake contract with Liquid Death. Once your soul is signed over, you are granted access to their exclusive Club-Only merchandise, early access to merchandise, invites to private shows and events, and soon-to-be announced goodies. LDCC is as of yet not associated with the company’s NFT ventures.
The Liquid Death Shop (web2): The online store for LD is creative and unconventional. Although you can go onto the site and purchase their canned water, what sets the site apart is the obscure merchandise the company also offers. For $6,200, customers can purchase and have delivered ‘The Death Dispenser’, a custom-tailored canned water dispenser made for home or business use. Additionally, the company partners with SJC Custom Drums and sells a ‘Beat to Death Snare’ drum, as well as an ‘Icy Death’ mini fridge. The brand’s shirts and hats are very popular, and frequently sell out. All of the merchandise is consistent with the brand’s alternative culture focus. Lastly, if one wishes to join the LDCC without signing over their soul to Liquid Death for all of eternity, a membership can be purchased with cash for 125,000 dollars. ‘Skulls’ are collected after every purchase by scanning a receipt after purchasing Liquid Death. Skulls can be traded in for free shirts, hats, koozies, water, and more. Skulls are not part of the company’s web3 endeavors.
Update in July: MHDC merchandise is live in the LD online store. If you own an MHDC NFT, you have exclusive access to MHDC themed merchandise. Customers are asked to connect their web3 wallet to verify they own a MHDC NFT, and proceed through the shopping experience as normal.
Timewaster 5000: This is a portal on the company website that consists of a collection of ironic and edgy videos made mostly for airing on alternative television platforms like Adult Swim. This includes a number of celebrity promotional videos, including Steve-O getting a Liquid Death tattoo using water, drawing Tony Hawk’s blood to make a skateboard incorporating it, a full-length horror film directed by Will Carsola, and a ‘death to plastic’ commercial featuring eco-conscious demons from the underworld.
Killer Baby Namer: Another promotional page, this is a section of the site dedicated to generating a name for your baby that will give it ‘the edge they need to succeed’. If a user types in their name, gender, and the baby’s desired occupation, the site will spit out a name recommendation (mine was Orlock Gutspill Sotraidis), complete with a generated sonogram. The first 10 babies to legally have their children named using the Killer Baby Namer receive an 18 year supply of Liquid Death. To qualify, you have to send the company an official copy of the child’s birth certificate.
Murder Head Death Club (web3): MHDC is the official NFT collection of LD. A collection of 6,666 severed head NFTs were minted in March of 2022. A premint sale took place a month prior, and the company partnered with longtime collaborator Will Carsola to create the art, and Open3 (an artist collective DAO) to assist with web3 development. Each NFT was sold at a flat price of 0.0666 ETH, not including gas fees. Holders have exclusive access to 50% off sales, private Q&A sessions with celebrities, first access to merchandise, with more in-person events yet-to-be announced this year. LD has partnered with Pachama to carbon-offset the sale of the NFTs, and intends on adding this information to their website this month. Every time a Murder Head is sold, 10% of the royalties will be donated to non-profits like 5Gyres and Thirst Project who are helping to kill plastic pollution and bring clean drinking water to people in need.
Soul Mates (web3): An update in late June that had to be included: For every 6 Murder Heads that you have in a single web3 wallet, you get 1 Soul Mate. A snapshot was taken on 6/30/22, and anyone that qualifies was airdropped a Soul Mate. Every Soul Mate airdropped is tied to an actual human soul that signed the legally binding agreement mentioned above in LDCC.
It is unclear what connectivity platform(s) Liquid Death has partnered with. Liquid Death is not typically sold in restaurants. Instead, it is sold in Whole Foods, 7-Eleven, Publix, Sprouts, GetGo, Sheetz, and the delivery service GoPuff. It is also sold in their online store. USD is the only accepted currency on Liquid Death’s website for US customers. Payment methods include traditional credit cards, ShopPay, Google Pay, and Paypal.
Liquid Death has made extensive use of Discord and Dan Murphy (head of marketing at LD) has stated that he recognizes the importance of community for growing the brand. LD’s Discord looks like a traditional NFT server, with a token-gated section exclusively for MHDC holders. Holders in the past have benefited from 50% off in the online store (during flash sales), having the community vote to pick the preferred carbon offset company that LD ultimately partnered with, and yet-to-be announced community exclusives.
Ethereum self-custody digital wallets
Opensea.io NFT store (customers pay with ETH)
Regular eCommerce payment portals
Very active social media presence (Instagram, Twitter, TikTok)
Dynamic websites, utilizing CSS, JSON, and React JS
ETH Contract: 0x8B6d881Cb985c2c49e893A522735852839C58737 Blockchain: ETH Token Standard: ERC-721 Creator Royalties: 6.66% (Liquid Death gets paid 10% of sales on secondary market) (It should be noted that LD has indicated that a percentage of revenue generated from every sale is donated)
MHDC NFT Metrics
To generate deeper insight into MHDC’s launch, I created a Dune.xyz dashboard tracking the release. https://dune.com/kahris/Murder-Head-Death-Club
Secondary Market Analytics
(Analytics derived from Opensea.io on 7/14/22)
Current floor price: Ξ 0.045 Top price: Ξ 666 Average Price: Ξ 0.1
90 Day Avg Price: Ξ 0.0918 90 Day Volume: Ξ 116.0733
MHDC drove around a hearse during Bitcoin Miami
Celebrity Q&A exclusives with the MHDC community via token-gated Discord
MHDC Poker Tournament
Discord movie watching night
Weekly merchandise giveaways exclusive to MHDC and Soul Mates owners.
NFT NYC 2022 Murder Lunch (in-person get-together with NFT owners)
Has embraced web3 and NFTs, using the latter as a way to promote its philanthropic ventures and eco-awareness
Released an NFT collection with utility, and intends to expand upon that utility and focus on the single collection
Liquid Death on the whole has memefied aluminum canned drinking water. The brand is present in every major YouTube channel and podcast, and the brand’s social videos often go viral
The strength of LD’s marketing has brought it to over half a billion dollar market valuation since its inception in 2019
The product is relatively cheap to produce and practically sells itself online via promotional advertising
Few other brands have as genuinely funny and original video and social content. LD is consistently breaking traditional marketing norms and proving that being different is profitable and popular, even with something as boring as water** *
The brand has sparkling, flavored, and mountain water. That’s it. It is unclear how much marketing alone can propel this brand into gaining mass-market popularity
LD’s approach on embracing alternative-culture has been praised by some, but comes across as off-putting and unattractive for many people. Promoting satanic imagery in a satirical way has led the brand to be banned in many religious schools and places of worship
The Skulls loyalty program is disconnected from LD’s web3 endeavors, which is a miss
Liquid Death Country Club also does not incorporate web3, which is also a miss. The brands loyalty programs are all seemingly disconnected from each other
Finding a way to incorporate the web3 community and loyalty is key to converting more traditional consumers to embracing and using web3 organically
Aside from a couple of small events, despite LD’s massive marketing budget, the utility for MHDC has yet to be fully realized, and many people in the community have been negative about the lack of progress
The floor price of MHDC is low, despite the popularity of the brand
In a period of 36 months, Liquid Death went from being an idea to being one of the most recognizable water brands in the world. Incorporating celebrity endorsements and advertising has been very successful, and doing celebrity Q&As within the web3 community will help grow it
Utilizing their advertising and marketing to promote the web3 side of the business could be a way to naturally gain traction for MHDC
Partnering with more celebrities and hosting more exclusive events for holders will prove to be popular if done in alignment with the brand
Liquid Death has its marketing. If you take away the clever marketing, the products and what is offers can be viewed as largely gimmicky and overly-priced
A major brand like Coca-Cola has enough money to easily create a side-company, replicate aspects of the marketing, and leverage its place in the market to compete directly with LD
Once the gimmick wears off, it’s hard to tell how much people are drinking and using this product. It is expensive, and it’s just water
If LD fails to deliver on utility for NFT holders, it may ruin its ability to gain traction among the web3 crowd
Few brands get how to do web3 marketing/brand engagement. Liquid Death is one of those brands, and it is consistently one of the few brands that has a Discord I check on a daily basis (or at least multiple times a week). Every month they mix things up, and the core NFT collection initially released is slowly being incorporated into the rest of the LD eco-system. I’ve purchased a MHDC t-shirt, and I’ve attended a few of the Q&A sessions (most recently with Wiz Khalifa). There’s more utility with this NFT collection than just about any other, unless we’re talking about BAYC or something that is much higher-value. For the price, the NFT and the community that LD is being built can’t be beat.
Liquid Death is an innovative, hilarious, and alternative brand that is embracing social media and web3 to forge a new legacy in our culture. With the addition of Murder Head Death Club and the Country Club, LD has found new ways to engage with the post-irony Gen Z mindset. The merchandise within their online store is genuinely original, and the company openly and actively supports a number of environmental causes. The sale of LD’s NFT collection has generated over 3.5 million dollars, and over 400,000 dollars has gone to eco-conservation projects. As a new brand, it’s hard to imagine a company selling something as simple as water doing much better. The web3 community for LD will continue to grow, and LD will continue to expand into more storefronts during the second half of 2022. Death to plastic!
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