Stanley pop-up bar counter

How Drinkware Brand Stanley Mobilized its TikTok Fans for an IRL Pop-up in L.A.

“We have consumers, but they are fans, and bringing an experience to them that they can engage with is going to be one of our top priorities. As we are a brand that is digital-first, we don’t have our own brick and mortar yet, but it’s incredibly important to be able to give them a place to come in and experience the brand.”

—Jenn Reeves, VP-Global Brand Marketing, Stanley

Stanley pop-up engraved tumbler

Pop-up attendees customized their Stanley cups with words and phrases.

TikTokers love to rave about their Stanley cups. Tagging their posts with #stanleycup, #stanleygirl, #stanleyhaul and even #stanleytumbleraddiction, fans of the drinkware brand are quick to let their followers know when a new tumbler color drops (Barbie pink, anyone?), document unboxings, share hacks and features, and show off their rainbow-colored collections.

Seeing how popular its products are on the video-sharing social platform with women, teachers, nurses and influencers, Stanley has fully embraced its online trending status and branched out offline into experiential with pop-ups to drive in-person engagement among established fans and new followers.

Last year, Stanley hosted a pop-up in New York City around the holidays, and using learnings from its first successful event, Stanley gave it a second go—this time with a different vibe on the opposite coast in Southern California. In July, Stanley welcomed more than 3,000 consumers to its indoor/outdoor Summer of Color three-day pop-up in Venice Beach that showcased its best-selling products and introduced summer-inspired colorways.

BÉIS Hotel lobbyCheck out these recent consumer pop-ups:

“We are 100 percent a TikTok brand, and we know where our fans are and want to meet them where they are,” says Jenn Reeves, vp-global brand marketing at Stanley. “We definitely use [TikTok] as one of the vehicles to share the excitement and to get the word out. We use it as our megaphone to let people know where to come, what’s happening and what to expect.”

Throughout the weekend, lines wrapped around several blocks to get into the storefront. Once attendees made it in, they could shop displays at a kiosk and stop at a 20-foot-long color-blocked bar offering free wellness shots, juices, smoothies and cold brew served in Stanley drinkware, while grooving to beats provided by DJ ALDN and Niko Rubio. Reeves says the “hottest line” in the space was the Stanley customization station. Tying into the June launch of the Stanley Create online customization platform, the brand brought the experience to the shop IRL so attendees could emblazon their cups, tumblers and mugs with phrases of their choice.

Continuing the customization theme, attendees could create their own bracelets at a bead station, in partnership with Little Words Project, a woman-owned jewelry company known for its bracelets with inspirational messages. Over the course of the weekend, participants crafted almost 500 bracelets. A photo booth gave attendees the chance to commemorate their time in the pop-up with printed and digital photos and GIFs for social.

Stanley pop-up layout with displays and craft tables

Inside the pop-up space, participants could shop displays, get a drink, customize their Stanley cups, create bracelets at a bead station and step into a photo booth.

On the patio, a caricature artist drew about 400 portraits of participants posing with their customized Quencher tumblers. (“What’s more iconic on the Venice Beach Boardwalk than having a caricature?” says Reeves.) Outside, attendees enjoyed snacks from a fruit cart and contributed to an 8-foot by 8-foot paint-by-numbers “Greetings from Venice” mural created by a local artist. The pop-up was also pet-friendly, with dog treats available on the patio.

“We really wanted to do something outside in the summer, celebrate color and give folks a place to come in and actually experience the brand, even more than just experiencing the products,” Reeves says. “We are definitely a digital-first brand, but that’s why this strategy is so important to bring the brand to life in a way that takes it off of the website and actually into their lives and part of their lifestyle.”

Having interacted with attendees around the pop-up, Reeves says the biggest takeaway she and her team gathered was that “everybody wants this experience” in their own hometowns. The L.A. site drew locals and tourists, including a visiting mother-daughter duo from Illinois who learned about the Stanley event on social media.

Stanley pop-up caricatures on the patio

Bringing the iconic vibe of the Venice Beach Boardwalk into the pop-up, a caricature artist drew about 400 portraits of attendees.

“My team is already starting to have the foresight that we need to do more of these more often, so our strategy shift for next year will be: How do we take this on the road?” Reeves says. “Maybe instead of three days, we do one day, but we do it more often in more places to give more consumers a place in their own backyard to engage with us.”

And speaking of backyards, Stanley made sure to leave Venice in a better state than they found it by partnering with environmental nonprofit Heal the Bay on a beach cleanup on Saturday morning before the pop-up opened. About 35 volunteers, plus Stanley staffers and the Heal the Bay community collected 45 pounds of trash. Beach cleanup participants received front-of-line passes to get into the Stanley shop, and during the pop-up event, Stanley collected more than $4,000 in donations for Heal the Bay to continue its mission of making the coastal waters and watersheds in L.A. safe, healthy and clean.

“We have consumers, but they are fans, and bringing an experience to them that they can engage with is going to be one of our top priorities,” Reeves says. “For them to share out all of their excitement, watching them post on TikTok what’s happening and what’s going on, as a brand builder, there’s nothing better than seeing the consumers come in and really experience the brand, inside and out, and to be able to share that with their friends, family and audiences.” Agencies: This Is Lester (event production); Kaplow (p.r. and communications).


More from Stanley’s Summer of Color Pop-up:

Photo credit: Stanley

Receive the latest news and special announcements from Event Marketer


© 2024 Access Intelligence, LLC – All Rights Reserved. |