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The power of framing by Liquid Death

12th June, 2024

The power of framing by Liquid Death

My kids drink Liquid Death.

 

And I’m ok with it.

 

Before you report me to social services, Liquid Death is a brilliantly named US water brand that’s recently hit UK shores.

 

With their tagline of ‘Murder your thirst’, flavours like ‘Severed lime’ and ‘Mango chainsaw’ and edgy packaging, they’re making drinking water cool for Gen Zs.  

 

They also appeal to Gen Zs passion for the environment, pledging ‘Death To Plastic’ with their recyclable aluminium cans.

 

They’ve taken water from worthy and bland to cutting edge and desirable.

 

(The company has been valued at over $1bn.)

 

What can we learn from the Liquid Death makers?

 

The value of framing.

 

For Gen Zs who don’t want to be patronised, preached to or bored to death, ‘Liquid Death’ is way more compelling than, for instance, ‘Healthy Choice’.

 

And framing is critical in our comms too.

 

Sometimes we inadvertently signal to people that what we’re about to say will be dull or irrelevant:

 

‘Sorry to bother you as I know you’re busy, but I need your help with Project Alpha…’

‘This is a bit dull but bear with me…’

‘There’s a lot of complicated data on this slide that you may not be able to read clearly but I’ll try and talk you through it <nervous laugh>’

 

Yawn. Snore. Droooool.  Phrases like this tell your audience: ‘This isn’t a priority for you.  In fact, it’s going to be hard work so go ahead and switch off.’

 

But if we reframe these phrases, we can transform the mood:

 

‘Your insights on Project Alpha are going to be invaluable’

‘5 key things to help you do your job better’

‘Here are 3 data points that might surprise you’

 

With a bit of thought, even the blandest of things can become interesting.

 

(Believe me – over the years I’ve marketed everything from post-trade pre-settlement trade processing solutions to laser leg hair removal.  There’s always an angle.)

 

So what’s your next presentation, email or meeting going to be called? ‘Death To Databases?’ or ‘(Don’t) Murder Your Margins’?

accenture
UBS
Ricoh
Euromoney
University of Cambridge

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