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The Perennial

The Perennial

The Perennial

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The Stanley Cup, TikTok’s New Darling

People are waiting for hours to buy one, but are they worth it?
Leela Jarschel

    A smooth, stainless steel exterior. An alluring, glossy decorated finish. The pinnacle of modern consumerism for this generation. Because the Stanley cups have skyrocketed into a multi-million dollar business in only a couple of years, their symbolic importance has baffled many. Seated at a desk in school, tucked away in a sports bag, or displayed at a coffee table, Stanley cups have become more of a statement piece than just a water bottle. Effortlessly replacing the previously trending Hydroflasks and Yeti bottles, the Stanley cup contains so much more than just liquid; it holds aspirations and a comforting sense of familiarity.

    After an updated brand style in 2022, the Stanley cups took the nation by surprise, overcoming its wildest expectations in the past year with spill-free silicone seals and chic limited-edition colors. But why did such a seemingly insignificant object receive so much adoration by the average citizen? The social-media water bottle conquered screens and dominated pop culture, leading some to wait in lines that stretched beyond the horizon. Holiday wish lists were sprinkled with hopes of a Stanley cup stocking surprise.

   The real reason behind its swift takeover has to do with the change in staff and the utilization of social media. Mirroring trends of as early as the Gilded Age itself, people, armed with money to spend and a culture to uphold, bought the Stanley cup to be part of a larger trend that has usurped the genuine need for a quality water bottle.

   After the brand takeover by President Terence Reilly, apps like TikTok have been utilized as a platform to promote the 110-year-old company. Similarly, Reilly transformed Crocs in 2013 into the staple fashion symbol that they are today. In a modern market, social media is one of the most imperative tools to expand a brand or idea. With this in mind, Reilly weaponized TikTok to turn Stanley cups into a status symbol of American pop culture. He also practiced the scarcity model, raising demands for limited editions like the Valentines Day or Lunar New Year inspired designs. Stanleys to incentivize people to make the purchase as soon as possible.

   As for myself, I can’t help but loathe the Stanley cup for all they have come to represent. Like a hive mind, younger generations swarm to the local Target and pester their parents for the latest Stanley cups. But, in a way, there is a Stanley cup in all of us as a greater reflection of the society we are constantly interacting with. Like a blessing or a plague, Stanley cups have swept across the nation. But these days, with the contemporary methods of advertising, any product has the potential to transform its realm of pop culture.


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