Replacement food-drink Soylent seems like one of those things made up for the satirical HBO show Silicon Valley. Named after a fictitious food-substitute consisting of people, the very real beverage has elicited significant amounts of skepticism (and derision) from both those in and out of the Bay Area. However, BuzzFeed News now reports that the CEO behind the company has decided to embrace the laughable nature of his business — teaming up with a Silicon Valley star to promote the newest iteration of his product to the vary companies the show mocks.
Soylent founder Rob Rhinehart this week got together with Josh Brener, who plays "Big Head" on the popular show, to drive a decked-out Soylent truck to the offices of eBay, GoogleX, and GoDaddy. There they passed out free samples of "Coffiest," the Soylent version of a caffeinated breakfast shake, and deadpanned jokes about the absurdity of the entire thing.
“Silicon Valley has its finger on the pulse,” Brener observed. “Soylent is coursing through the veins of this great township.”
Asked of his personal use of the product, the decidedly not-ripped Brener shared consumption tips. "I like to use Soylent as a post-gym recovery drink. It gives me the protein I need to bulk up.”
Brener also seemed assured that Big Head, the bumbling character he plays, would go for Coffiest. “He doesn’t like to exert himself,” the actor told SF Magazine, “so the two-in-one nature of Coffiest—not having to lift anything, seek anything out, lift a fork to his mouth—I think that would really resonate with him.”
When BuzzFeed asked if Brener is being paid to promote the company, he sidestepped the question, saying he was being compensated in product. "All my meals for the next — what is it, 300 years? — are taken care of,” adding that “You wouldn’t pay an elephant in anything but peanuts.”
This is not the first time a Silicon Valley actor has stepped into the real world of Silicon Valley. Just last April, T.J. Miller, who plays Erlich Bachmann on the show, called out those in tech for being a bunch of "pretentious rich assholes," and further offended the tech elite when he was asked to MC the 2015 Crunchies.
Brener's foray into tech seems a bit more whimsical than Miller's, although he did get real for a brief moment about his experience in the actual Silicon Valley. "It is shocking the number of people who are like, ‘Dude, I’m your character! I just sit around and do nothing and get paid for it,’ ” he told BuzzFeed. “Which is sort of disheartening.”