Stanley Cups Cause Fervor, Bullying

A friend recently posted a photo of two thermal Stanley “Quencher” tumblers on Facebook.

“Will trade these bad boys for a 3 bedroom, 2 bath with fenced-in yard and swimming pool. I know what I have. Let me know what you have.”

The post was a joke, but the fervor over the brand is completely real.

My friend had been lucky enough to nab two of the limited-edition Valentine's Day cups. 

In one TikTok over the weekend, Mikayla Barber filmed herself and a horde of customers waiting in line before her local Target even opened. "Doors are open and they start running and pushing," she wrote in the clip, according to Business Insider.



The 40-ounce Stanley tumbler are available in limited edition Valentine's Day colors — Target red and Cosmo pink -- exclusively at Target. 

Other TikTokers captured the lines — reminiscent of Black Friday — outside several Target stores in the early morning hours before the cups were unveiled. As stores opened, customers stampeded toward the Stanley display.

Earlier editions of the cups, including special editions only available at Starbucks, were the most-featured item in Gen Z Christmas-haul videos on TikTok.

But it better be an actual Stanley and not a knock-off. One mom said that her 9-year-old daughter's classmates mocked her after she got an off-brand tall plastic cup with a straw for Christmas, according to Business Insider

“The craze over the pink and red Stanley insulated cups at Target and Starbucks is the latest example of an age-old marketing practice, where companies create buzz to fuel a fad,” according toUSA Today. “But social media is giving such campaigns a new twist, experts say, turbocharging the chase for the hot new item as consumers compete for clicks, cachet, or just a sense of belonging to a broader community of collectors.”

The Stanley 1913 brand has been around for more than a century, but in recent years the company has expanded its signature line into a seemingly limitless array of colors, designs and collaborations.

“It’s no secret that good marketing — largely to women, through social media — has been behind the cups’ recent surge in popularity,” per CNN Style. “The question that’s harder to answer, however, is why people go so crazy for something as simple as a basic vessel — an item that performs just as well, give or take, as any old thermos in the back of the cabinet.”

Reusable water bottles have been around for decades, with many brands going in and out of popularity including Nalgene, Yeti, S’well and Hydro Flask.

“But the Stanley cup represents something different,” according to The 19th. “Where the sign of a well-loved Nalgene was the amount of stickers it had amassed, the social media fuel behind Stanley cups hinges on one not being enough. Many TikTokers, mostly women, have amassed dozens of Stanley cups, proudly displaying them in colorful rows in their videos. In some interviews, they proclaim their ability to match their Stanley to their outfit, or nail polish. The Stanley cup has become a fashion accessory.”  

But if you don’t want to pay the $100 and up that some of the vessels are fetching on resale websites, just wait a big longer. One Gen Z trend forecaster thinks the craze could be coming to an end.

In a video with over 3 million views as of Saturday, trend researcher Casey Lewis says that the era of the Stanley cup as the “it” accessory may already be over.

“To explain this, she connects the Stanley water bottle craze and the diffusion of innovation theory," per Daily Dot. “In Lewis’ explanation, the theory goes as follows: innovators are the first to adopt a trend, followed by early adopters, the early majority, the late majority, and finally, the laggards. In the case of the Stanley water bottle, Lewis suggests we’re currently witnessing the 'late majority' stage of the process—and now, even the laggards are joining in.”

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