Liquid Death Gets Really Gross With Plastic Surgery

Comic Whitney Cummings helps deliver a twisted environmental message

Definitions of NSFW should just come with a Liquid Death logo plastered on top.

In a world of play-it-safe, same o' lame o' campaigns, the purveyors of canned water always deliver something ... different.

Well, different across a spectrum of gratuitous gross humor that is, in the trademark OTT style that consistently sets the brand apart.

You may recall the world's most nauseating taste test, this impossibly profane "workout video," Martha Stewart in the kitchen with a cleaver, severed heads, enemas and any number of gory promos through the years.

Where does its latest freaky foray—into a "Recycled Plastic Surgery Center" to raise environmental awareness—rank on the yuck-o-meter? Pretty high, actually, as the work deals with medical mischief and altering human forms. (NSFW, remember? Though more for some than others.)

Comedian Whitney Cummings cuts up rough as a surgeon. And be sure to stick around for her F'd-up reveal—if you dare:

Did you see the junk in those trunks? Ouch!

OK, badass brand, explain yourself...

"As always, our target is simply people who laugh," Liquid Death vice president of creative Andy Pearson tells Muse. "We think of Liquid Death almost like a platform like SNL where we can bring celebrities or ideas in and write an entire premise that you never saw coming."

"Humor is the way to actually reach people," he says. "We've become so desensitized to bad news or dire environmental messaging. If we want to break through and actually make someone think, humor is a powerful weapon. It's always built on a nugget of truth. So if you get someone to laugh about the idea that plastic recycling is a myth, maybe over time we can actually get people to consider their choices. Maybe the next time they reach for a plastic water bottle, they think twice."

So, the sick schtick serves as a driver, slicing through the clutter to illustrate that only 5 percent of plastic actually gets recycled, so a big shift from the current production process is needed. (And btw, Liquid Death comes exclusively in aluminum cans, planet lovers!)

But does the mutilation overpower the message? Personally, we were in ... stitches. But it's easy to understand how some viewers might object to such queasy cosmetic comedy.

"This was a truly horrifying set," Pearson says. "There were lumpy butts and crazy chins and plastic bottle calves everywhere. Lunch was hilarious because all the extras in their prosthetics and makeup were casually eating together, and it looked like a real horror show."

Cummings gives a great performance, playing it strait (ish) to keep the spot centered, then kicking the cra up to 10 at the end.

"We recently brought her on as an investor and ambassador," Pearson says. "She's been very open in talking about her own plastic surgery and body image struggles. When we presented a couple of ideas, this was the one she liked. And she helped us craft it in a way that felt right."


Co-Founder/CEO: Mike Cessario
SVP of Marketing: Dan Murphy
VP of Creative: Andy Pearson
VP of Marketing: Greg Fass
VP of Design: Frank Dresmé
VP of Cultwear: Misha Brunelli
Creative Director: Will Carsola
Associate Creative Director: Stu Golley
Senior Brand Manager: Tia Sherwood
Senior Nihilist: Brendan Kelly
Apparel Production & Sourcing Manager: Sean Snirk
Executive Producer: Johnny Eastlund
Senior Producer: Tatianna Rodriguez
Line Producer: Cookie Walukas
Production Coordinator: Rylee Brown
Director: Daniel Stessen
Director of Photography: David Bolen
Stills: Lauren Withrow
Production Designer: Annie Sperling
SFX MUA: Manny Lemus
Creative Collaborators: Party Land

Advertise With Us

Featured Clio Award Winner



The best in creativity delivered to your inbox every morning.