Venturing to Quench: The desk-borne rise of Stanley’s water bottles


Luke Frenzel

The Adventure Quencher Travel Tumbler nestles itself within the rounded pockets of the lunchroom tables, advertising its appeal to all those within eyeshot.

Luke Frenzel, Staff Writer

Bonded through a singular medium, students, social media influencers and Santa Claus are all familiar with the phenomenon of the Stanley water bottle, specifically, The Adventure Quencher Travel Tumbler, a product that was almost discontinued in 2019. 

With nearly eleven decades of experience in the drinkware industry, Stanley’s recent meteoric rise in popularity comes as a surprise to many but is undoubtedly recognizable to any regular user of social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, or anyone navigating high school halls. 

Social media’s influence on the prosperity of products is a rampant reality that upcoming and veteran brands are taking into account. Purchased less than two weeks ago, junior Isabelle Thilges heard about Stanley from TikTok.

I needed a new water bottle, and I heard really good things about them,” Thilges said.

Stanley owners recognized that the arrival of the water bottle came with surprise and great force. While some may have sought their purchase directly through affiliate links from social media influencers, others have been attracted to the seemingly universal appeal that Stanley holds.

Though this bump in relevancy may seem like an internet-born fluke, meticulous planning and strategic marketing has built the image of the water bottle projected to the corners of desks and within the webbed pockets tethered to the sides of backpacks throughout the school.

“All of a sudden I saw everyone start getting one,” junior Isabelle Myers said. “I didn’t even know that they were widely popular. I just saw that everyone got one.”

Insulated, refillable water bottles are popular amongst students. Such technology allows for long periods between refills and a consistently refreshing drink.

“I like water to be colder, and I think metal water bottles hold it better,” junior Peter Vani said. 

Waste reduction is another feature of the reusable water bottle that entices and maintains customers. With a composition of 90% recycled stainless steel, Stanley puts environmental consciousness first, and the transfer from disposable, plastic water bottles to reusable, metal water bottles allows users to employ a greater sense of due diligence.

“I feel better about my impact on the environment,” Myers said.

For a 109-year-old brand, social media marketing was an experimental, yet necessary move, especially for the Adventure Quencher Travel Tumbler, which was slated for discontinuation due to poor sales in 2019. It was a partnership with the e-commerce blog The Buy Guide that carried the now-famous water bottle back off the ground and into the hands of teachers and Western bloggers.

Advertised as the ideal insulated beverage holder for any demographic, The Adventure Quencher Travel Tumbler sees a revenue surge around holidays when search boxes are flooded with blogs providing gift suggestions for family and friends.

“I did not purchase one of my own,” Vani said, “It was a Christmas gift from Santa Claus.”

Advertisement through affiliate marketing, a process where an individual makes a small commission on sales that are sourced by directed traffic through sponsored links, took the Stanley brand and the Adventure Quencher Travel Tumbler to where it is found today: classrooms, stockings and cupholders alike.

While product crazes like the Adventure Quencher Travel Tumbler traditionally follow cyclical periods of growth and decline, the recent rise of the Stanley brand is a clear example of the power of marketing through social media and influencer promotion among a generation that is consistently striving for the newest piece of life-improving technology.

“I’m very easily influenced, so TikTok and my friends, I’ll get whatever they get,” Myers said. “I’d say I’m just a follow-the-leader kind of gal.”