Liquid Death's Cotter Explains The 'Grandmas' Behind Its New Iced Tea

After asking Twitter followers what type of beverage it should launch next, canned water brand Liquid Death killed it with the March 1 debut of iced tea in the Armless Palmer, Rest In Peach and Grim Leafer flavors.

It was an Amazon-exclusive launch of a “better-for-you” iced tea microdosed with six grams of sugar, 30 micrograms of caffeine, and a supporting video featuring people dressed as “grandmas” doing all sorts of crazy things.

“We had this massive traffic spike that went to Amazon -- and because of the traffic, Amazon actually shut down our product page about two hours after launch,” Liquid Death director of digital retail Natalie Cotter said at the MediaPost Insider Summit CPG conference in Scottsdale, Arizona .

Starting with water in 2019 and progressing to flavored sparkling waters, when Liquid Death contemplated the next stage of its brand evolution, it conducted a Twitter poll to determine what to launch next.



“The resounding answer was iced tea,” Cotter explained.

The company also researched the iced tea market and determined it was a category “ripe for disruption.”

Perceiving iced tea as “the original energy drink” and “what grandmas used to thrive on,” Liquid Death defaulted to its trademark dark-humor approach to advertising.

That didn’t sit well with Amazon—no surprise, given the crazy antics depicted in this video.

It opens with a man saying, “Iced tea? Come on LD, this is like my grandma’s energy drink.”

In retaliation, two “grandmas” hose him down with the brown contents of a portable toilet.

From there, grandma band members rip into heavy metal music, pilot a sports car through city streets, shoot fireworks from their private parts, skateboard and engage in martial arts.

Superimposed words at the end of the video urge viewers to “tell your grandma” that the iced tea is on Amazon.

“We did try to get this video put on our product pages on Amazon. Unfortunately, it didn’t get approved due to content standards,” said Cotter.

The company resorted to cut-down “appropriate PG-versions.”

In six days, the brand sold inventory forecast to sell in four to six weeks.

Cotter said the “biggest win” was getting the #1 best-seller badge in the iced tea category on Amazon.

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