LOS ANGELES: Liquid Death CEO Mike Cessario jabbed competitor AriZona after it mocked his canned drink’s recent campaign with musician Travis Barker.
On April 25, AriZona Iced Tea responded to Liquid Death’s partnership with Barker, teasing the edgy beverage company for creating a limited edition, “enema kit” autographed by the drummer.
We promise to never make an at home enema kit https://t.co/6s3KUfmrw2— AriZona Iced Tea (@DrinkAriZona) April 25, 2023
Two weeks and more than 500,000 views later, Liquid Death clapped back, thanking AriZona for the “free marketing.”
“Means a lot when a multi-billion-dollar brand is willing to offer resources to small new brand[s] in the space. Most giant brands just ignore us,” the beverage company tweeted.
On Wednesday, Cessario weighed in on the conversation on LinkedIn, claiming AriZona may be worried about Liquid Death’s emergeance in the iced-tea market and what he called its “insane” sales velocity just two months after launching.
“Free marketing tip: if you are a giant household-name corporation worried about a smaller competitor, don’t use your massive platform to call out your competitor and give them free awareness and consideration to your audience,” Cessario said.
He added that consumers are not impacted by businesses’ messages about competitors.
“[Consumers will] just be more curious about your competitor and go [and] check them out on their own. Or even worse, you might give people an emotional reason, far stronger than a rational or functional reason, to not like your brand by the way you chose to publicly shit on your competitor,” Cessario said.
While public digs may work for small brands targeting larger competitors, the best strategy is to “stay laser-focused on what you do best and stop spending so much time worrying about what your competitors are doing,” Cessario concluded.
An AriZona representative could not be reached for comment; Liquid Death declined additional comment.
Liquid Death debuted its range of iced-tea products in March, accompanied by a group of heavy metal-playing grandmas. The company, known for its zany partnerships, also sells canned still and sparkling water.
Last October, Liquid Death was reportedly nearing a $1 billion valuation, and investor Peter Pham said it’s beginning to “lay the groundwork” for an initial public offering.