Written by Allison Shaw
Perhaps one of this Christmas’ most requested gifts, the Stanley Quencher, known colloquially as the “Stanley Cup”, has taken the water drinking world by storm. With reports of people brawling in Targets across the nation over the limited edition and highly coveted “Pink Stanley”, and certain colors reselling on second hand markets for over $100, what’s the big deal? Is the Stanley Cup worth the hype, or is it exactly what the name implies- just a cup.
The Stanley Cup isn’t anything new; both literally and in function. Water bottles are actually one of the oldest human inventions, with evidence of their existence being found from some of the earliest human civilizations. Having been in existence for so long, there are tons of different incarnations of the bottle, which puts the Stanley in a long history of similar methods of water transportation. The Stanley Cup itself isn’t a new invention either; the first Stanley Quencher was released in 2016 to very little success. In fact, the bottles were discontinued in 2019 due to poor sales. So what brought them back?
Social media. It’s no secret that social media platforms, like Instagram and Tiktok, have been incredibly influential in dictating the trend cycles of the last few years, and the rise of the Stanley cup is no exception. Viral Tiktok marketing campaigns and the popularity of certain niches like “Watertok”, a somewhat controversial subgroup of the app consisting of people creating different “flavors” of water. A viral video in which a woman’s car explodes leaving her Stanley cup unharmed and still full of ice contributed to this boom in interest for the cup.This virality on Tiktok caused Stanley’s sales to rise- they peaked at $750 Million in sales in 2023. The Stanley cup is an incredible example of how Tiktok is changing how we need to look at marketing and trends.
But is the cup really worth the $45 price tag? Critics of the craze say that the cup is too big, or too expensive, and is just 2023’s trendy water bottle that’ll be sitting at the back of the cupboard in exchange for whatever gets big in 2024. And we’ve certainly seen that before, with the Hydroflask and the Yeti both being examples of water bottles that were once on top of the world. Time will tell if the Stanley is here to stay, or if it’s just another cup craze.