The Student News Site of Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Full Day



Rabid Consumerism & The Stanley Cup

Not the hockey one

Unless you have been doing a social media cleanse to start off the new year, chances are you have seen the videos of consumers fighting over Stanley (the drink cup brand), collaboration with Target in the new “Galentine’s Day” collection. This is one of a few collaborations Stanley cup has done with Target over the past few months. Video’s online have been surfacing of customers running towards a display of pink and red stanley cups set in neat formations, only to have been wrecked moments later.


#fyp #fypシ゚viral #target #targetfinds #stanleycup #stanley #stanleytar… | stanley cup | TikTok


To understand how the frenzy got to the point where Target employees are being hit in the head with metal water bottles, we have to go back to 2019.

Most people who are either on tiktok, or are familiar with the influencing power the app holds, are aware of the effect the app has on what water bottles are “trending”. I believe that we first saw the effect that tiktok had on these water bottle micro-trends with Hydroflasks and VSCO girls. For those who are not familiar with the trend, it started in 2019 when an “aesthetic” emerged from the photo editing app VSCO. As the trend evolved, an environmentally conscious aspect emerged, and Hydroflasks came into trend. As a middle- schooler, I remember coming back from winter break and half of my classmates having brand new hydroflasks. As a tween I also participated in the trend, and still have a Hydroflask to this day, almost 5 years later. Since the rise, and eminent fall of Hydroflasks, there have been many other reusable water bottles to trend, and fall out of style. The Yeti, lululemon, and Owala have all come into relevance in the past few years, and at the beginning of 2023, the Stanley cup blew up.


It started with the Quencher H2.0, as influencers started to get a hold of the tumbler, the brand gained more and more traction. Now, the Stanley brand has been around since 1913, and historically has marketed towards men. Focusing on key demographics such as campers, and blue collar men. When the cup blew up, the executives of the Stanley brand had to do some big pivoting, very quickly. Their key demographic went from middle aged men to Millennial and Gen-z women in a matter of a couple months. I believe that the fact the company was able to adjust their marketing strategy so quickly is a huge reason behind the great success of the Stanley cup now. They started releasing more feminine colors, started collaborating with brands such as Target, and Starbucks; bBoth companies have primarily female consumers. So where did things start getting so out of hand?


The use of limited edition products in marketing have been used for decades. When products have a limited run, it creates scarcity, which creates a sense of urgency for the fear of missing out. The collaborations with Starbucks and Target all had a limited run, which has led consumers, who most likely already have a reusable cup, spending 45 dollars on a new Stanley every couple of months when a new limited line comes out.

In the age of Tiktok, over consumerism is not only embraced, but encouraged. The app creates a culture where it’s a race to stay up to date with trends. For influencers, it’s a matter of whether or not they’ll be able to pay their bills that month. For teenagers, it’s whether or not they’ll be able to fit in with their classmates, or even be ostracized.


Women account for 85 percent of all consumer spending within the US, so it’s understandable why many companies market their products specifically towards women (Grossbard). We live in a capitalist society where corporations rely on their ability to influence consumers into purchasing their products and with the rise of social media, it has just gotten easier. But to push the envelope so far as to where workers who are making minimum wage are being harassed, and where grown women practically have a shrine dedicated to a reusable cup on their wall? I understand that they are a corporation and have no duty to the environment, but to actively encourage this kind of consumerism is repulsive. 


Carolina Kyung (@carolinakyung) | TikTok


Some may argue that it is understandable to want to collect, and have a collection. But I disagree. Especially since the cups that are being collected are reusable, and have a lifetime warranty. I’d also like to point out that in the video, Kyung discusses possibly selling or donating some of her other cups in order to make room for more Stanley cups. The wall itself is a gross display of over consumerism, but to then go on to talk about getting rid of other cups that are no longer in style to make room for those that are just trendy feels like the cherry on top. 


Casey Lewis, a youth consumer trends analyst said in an interview with Katie Notopoulos, a senior correspondent at Business Insider, that, “[Stanley cups] are absolutely on their way out. This is peak Stanley. There’s no up from here!” (Lewis). Lewis’s prediction is a sentiment that many other forecasters, and myself, believe. With the current media coverage the stanley cups are getting, specifically the negative media coverage about the people losing their minds in Target, some influencers have started posting videos about how they’re “embarrassed” to have a stanley. In a video made by Lyken Jaymes, she says, “I’m actually so

embarrassed to own a Stanley [right now]. Standing in line, sprinting through the store, even knocking over workers? For a cup?!” (Jaymes). As I searched for a video to use for this article, I found more than 20 other similar videos. With the current response the cups are getting because of the Target incident, I don’t think it would be a far stretch to say it won’t be much longer until we see Stanley cups lining the shelves of Goodwill’s water bottle section.


lynken (@lynkenjaymes9) | TikTok


So, next time the next big water bottle blows up, think about whether or not you need it. Sure you want it, but do you already have another reusable water bottle? Are you going to even use the bottle if you get it? Or is going to sit in the cupboard of your kitchen that has turned into a water bottle graveyard. I know for me, I’ll keep using my Hydroflask until it gives out on me. Or I lose it. Again.

Leave a Comment
Donate to Oh My GHAA!

Your donation will support the student journalists of Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Full Day. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Adela Furman, Co-Editor In Chief
Hi, I'm Adela! I am current Junior at GHAA, the stage manager for Looking in Theater, and a veteran member of Student Voices. It has been (jokingly) said on occasion that I am the sole reason the building is running. My friends know me best as Dells, and when I am not writing or running the building, you can find me curled up in a corner somewhere reading or crocheting. My favorite kinds of pieces to write are op-eds. I always have something to say, especially if it's about a topic I am passionate about. I started Oh My GHAA! in an attempt to help with the feeling of lacking communication within the building. It is something I struggled with myself, so I was more than over-joyed when The GHAASIP was published last year. Due to the class that was producing it being a half-year course, it was unfortunately discontinued. My dream for this paper it that it will be different. A more developed version of The GHAASIP. Something that will last and be handed down from class to class.
Donate to Oh My GHAA!

Comments (0)

All Oh My GHAA! Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *