By Gillian Follett from AdAge

Drinkware brand Stanley, whose large, colorful tumblers often appear in the hands of influencers, has named Omnicom-owned agency GSD&M as its first TikTok agency of record.

GSD&M is also working with Stanley on a project basis to shape its brand strategy, according to the agency. In its role as agency of record, GSD&M will direct Stanley’s TikTok strategy and video creation while the brand will manage influencer partnerships in-house.

“Engaging consumers, particularly Gen Z, in innovative ways on social media is fundamental for brands to earn attention,” said Dave Kersey, chief media officer at GSD&M, in a statement. “Partnering with Stanley to accelerate their momentum and success in culture is an incredible opportunity, and partnership, we truly value.”

The partnership comes as marketers are looking for agencies to handle more fragmented parts of the business, though, at this point, Stanley’s other social media accounts are not being handled by other agencies.

GSD&M manages social strategy and content creation for Pizza Hut, Fruit of the Loom and the United States Air Force, among others. In 2019, the agency, along with Gut, sparked the chicken sandwich marketing war between Popeyes, Chick-fil-A, Wendy’s and other fast food restaurants with tweets from Popeyes.

The GSD&M team has already begun creating TikTok content for Stanley, including one tied to the ongoing “WaterTok” trend that involves users mixing flavored powders, syrups and other additives into water, often in one of Stanley’s large “Quencher” mugs. (GSD&M began making TikToks for the brand in April before it was officially selected as the agency of record.)

Stanley has undergone a major brand refresh over the past three years, due in large part to the virality of its 40-ounce Quencher cups on TikTok and beyond. The 110-year-old drinkware brand, which once positioned its water bottles, tumblers and other gear as accessories for rugged, masculine consumers, has recently shifted much of its marketing focus to everyday Gen Z consumers, said Stanley’s Global President, Terence Reilly, during Ad Age’s America’s Hottest Brands event.

Despite the crucial role social media has played in revitalizing Stanley’s brand identity, Reilly identified the brand’s marketing focus for the rest of 2023 as collaborating with other brands on new colors for Stanley’s products, securing new celebrity partners and expanding further into experiential marketing. In just the past month, Stanley teamed up with HGTV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines’ “Hearth & Hand” brand to launch several Target-exclusive water bottles and tumblers, as well as country music singer-songwriter Lainey Wilson for a pink tumbler.

“The Stanley brand was built around creators, builders, and inventors and is still committed to that inventive and inspiring spirit as we continue to evolve our 110-year-old brand,” said Jenn Reeves, global VP of brand marketing at Stanley, in a statement. “We want to do this wherever consumers interact with Stanley, including in spaces like TikTok.

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