Ruchika Jha

'The Boys' will be boys: Liquid Death issues 'apology' over The Deep's controversial classroom ad

'The Boys' superhero made kids drink sugary water and blew cigarette smoke at them in a cheeky ad promoting the brand’s flavoured sparkling water.

On June 12, 2024, Liquid Death, a US beverage company, issued a "public apology" and 'ended its partnership' with The Deep (a super, yet not-so-much-a-hero character played by Chace Crawford) from Prime Video's The Boys.

The decision came after a controversial ad where he made kids drink sugary water and blew cigarette smoke at them to promote the brand's flavoured sparkling water. The brand posted the apology note on its YouTube channel under the description box.

Apology note in Liquid Death's YouTube video caption
Apology note in Liquid Death's YouTube video caption

In the ad, The Deep teaches kids about the dangers of sugary drinks by making them ingest cups of sugar and blowing cigarette smoke in the classroom. He nearly made a young boy choke on a glass full of sugar.

“Some studies show that overconsumption of sugary drinks can actually cause erectile dysfunction,” he says to his very young audience. When a child asks what it means, he answers, "Honestly, I have no idea," winking at the camera.

Liquid Death's VP of creative, Andy Pearson, took to LinkedIn and 'apologised' for the superhero’s actions, admitting the brand's recent ad was the "second failed attempt" with him.

He said, “The Deep’s team at Vought International recently convinced us to give him a second chance as a health and wellness ambassador for the brand. He had the idea to redeem himself by educating kids on the dangers of high-sugar sodas. And that he would do it in a controlled classroom environment.”

Pearson assured that the brand would “never” support giving tobacco to kids. They immediately ended their partnership with The Deep. He also mentioned that in 2021, Liquid Death “fired” him from his job as chief sustainability associate.

This happened after he appeared in a public service announcement (PSA), burning a lot of plastic on a beach with kids. He was talking about how sustainable the brand's aluminium cans are.

The first three episodes of The Boys Season 4 premiered on June 13, 2024, on Prime Video, with subsequent episodes releasing weekly until July 18, 2024.

The Boys Season 4
The Boys Season 4

The Boys, based on the comic book of the same name by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, is an American dark satirical superhero television series that parodies the Marvel and DC superhero universes.

In this series, superheroes are often portrayed as gods (but not benevolent ones). Characters such as Homelander (played by Antony Starr), Queen Maeve (played by Dominique McElligott), Soldier Boy (played by Jensen Ackles), A-Train (played by Jessie T Usher), and Black Noir (played by Nathan Mitchell) are clearly inspired by Superman, Wonder Woman, Captain America, Flash, and Batman, respectively.

The show also stars Karl Urban as Billy Butcher, Jack Quaid as Hughie Campbell, Erin Moriarty as Annie January, and Laz Alonso as Mother’s Milk.

The Deep in The Boys parodies Aquaman from DC comics and films. The character communicates with sea creatures and possesses the ability to breathe underwater. His lack of intelligence frequently makes him a source of ridicule on the show.

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