Spend just a few minutes on TikTok and you’re nearly guaranteed to come across at least one video featuring the “Stanley Quencher,” a massive stainless steel tumbler that has appeared in the hands of a plethora of influencers across social media.
How Stanley transformed water bottles into trendy accessories
Those influencers, along with millions of everyday consumers, helped spearhead the 110-year-old brand’s social media refresh in mid-2020. That's when Stanley began pivoting its online image from rugged outdoorsmanship to one centered around lifestyle influencers such as Instagram account and blog The Buy Guide, @colormecourtney and @theberrybestt, among others. They're all promoting the brand’s now-viral tumbler, which is often referred to simply as a “Stanley cup” (not to be confused with the hockey trophy of the same name). The Stanley Quencher is now the accessory of choice, toted around by stylish millennial and Gen Z consumers.
And Stanley has leaned into the tumbler’s cult-like status, frequently releasing new limited-edition colors to encourage consumers to build out their own cup collections and partnering with brands including Starbucks, Olay and Pendleton to create even more options for loyal Stanley consumers to add to their hoards.
Today, the Stanley cup remains an inescapable presence—and something of a status symbol—on TikTok and Instagram, with thousands of users regularly sharing videos of themselves unboxing new colors of the travel mugs, showing off their collections, or simply holding the mug while filming an unrelated video. The hashtag #StanleyCup now contains more than 450,000 videos and has drawn in over 5 billion views on TikTok; though, admittedly, some of those may have been from hockey fans.