Remember flipping through the latest edition of the Guinness World Record Book back in elementary school and learning about the man with the longest fingernails or the lady who can pop her eyeballs out the farthest?
Back then you probably weren’t searching for the pages regarding marketing or advertising, which makes sense since fingernails easily trumped those things back then. However, records for advertising are being made and broken and marketing agencies are hopping on board to not only get their names out there once in newspapers and picked up by other news outlets, but printed forever in these books.
Here Are My Top Ten Examples:
The world’s shortest TV commercial: MuchMusic, a Canadian music and video TV channel, holds this record. It lasts 1/60 of a second and was aired for the first time on January 2, 2002. There are 12 total frames that you can see here in this clip here. It wouldn’t be the most effective form of advertising, but Tharanga Ramanayake (the creator, producer and editor, yes I quadruple checked how to spell his name) has his name inside the book until someone else shatters this record. I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s going to be a while until that day.
Largest internet advertising presence in 2010: It shouldn’t be surprising that Proctor & Gamble broke this record. What gave them this recognition? Those fun Old Spice deodorant and body wash ads that went viral (c’mon, everyone looked them up on YouTube to see what the latest ad was, don’t lie). Those ads alone received 1.8 billion impressions, had more than 140 million views on YouTube, and gave P&G a 2,700% increase in followers on their Twitter account. The power of advertising is strong my friends, use it wisely.
Most expensive advertising campaign on TV: Superbowl ads have the reputation for being ridiculously expensive, so it makes perfect sense that one of them would break the Guinness World Record, but the question is which one? There have been 45 Superbowls played, so the possibilities for most expensive ad is quite tricky. Okay, I won’t keep you in suspense any longer: It was for Pepsi Cola at Superbowl XXXVI. Britney Spears shimmied and danced her way into the record books for them. It cost $8.1 million ($90,000 per second), which back during the first Superbowl in 1967 would cost $42,000 for 30 seconds.
Don’t remember that specific ad? It’s okay, in today’s modern age we have the technology (a.k.a. YouTube) to see it:
Longest chain of people licking ice cream: Everyone has a favorite flavor of ice cream, so why not get as many people as possible enjoying it to break a record? That’s exactly what Morielli’s ice cream in Portstewart, Northern Ireland, UK thought and achieved in July of 2011. Over 2,700 hungry participants came and helped give Morielli’s a place in the record books!
Largest advertisement on a building: Here in America, whatever is bigger always wins. Well, the folks in Hong Kong must be searching for a competition against us because in October of 2003 they secured their place in the Guinness World Records. The Financial Times newspaper covered the International Finance Centre (Hong Kong’s tallest building and the world’s third tallest building) with a 205,865.02 square feet (about 50 floors) advertisement. Probably not the most effective outdoor advertising method, but it sure draws attention.
Largest simultaneous balloon popping –single location: Not many people enjoy the sound of popping balloons, but if you do then try to find an event like the one organized by The Marketing Store Ltd in Shenzhen, China in March, 2005, where 8,428 balloon were simultaneously popped at this event.
Most people hula hooping – single venue: Remember how much fun hula-hooping was? Now imagine breaking a record with it! That’s exactly what happened in Taiwan when 2,496 people simultaneously hula-hooped at an event organized by Herbalife Taiwan Inc. and Taiwan Branch, with the assistance of Dot Han Integrated Marketing Co. and Detsu Inc. in August 2011. The next broken record after this was the “Most Pain Killers Purchased by a Group of People.”
Most couples kissing simultaneously: This record had to be broken in Brazil. I mean where else are you going to find such passionate couples who want the whole world to know about their love for each other? 8,372 couples signed a logbook at this event created by Claudia Leitte (a Brazilian singer) and organized by Visionmais Marketing Promotional Ltd. Tough to say who enjoyed this more, the women or the men?
Longest massage chain: Who doesn’t enjoy getting a back massage after a long day? It doesn’t matter if you’re sitting in a chair all day or standing on your feet, everyone gets a stiff and sore back. Have A Good Dream Co. Ltd and Thai Beverage Marekting Co. Ltd got 1,223 people to sit in three circles behind one another (each circle measured about 668.75 yards). For those curious, the following massages were given: temporal lobe, neck, shoulders, arms and back (chop style) so that everyone walked away feeling loose and ready to go.
Who does this?
If this sounds like something your business wants to tackle down the road, rest easy knowing that you won’t have to go at it alone. Guinness World Records created a division at their company specifically, “to help companies figure out what records to set to highlight their products and brands.” They see a market in helping companies’ names to get out there to new and potential customers worldwide.
Guinness’s stamp of approval comes at a pretty low price tag considering all the publicity the company breaking or creating a record receives. They charge companies $4,739 for having a judge verify the feat as well as helping to brainstorm types of records that remain unbroken. Not too shabby in the long run.
Why do it?
As event and cause marketing has become more widespread as a promotional tool—ranging from rock concerts to walk-a-thons—marketers have been searching for new ways to help their events get noticed.
Hoyt Harper, global brand leader for Sheraton along with the folks from Guinness World Records got 270 people gathered (in the rain no less) in midtown Manhattan to participate and create a record for the largest-ever resistance-band strength-training class. The Guinness brand helps create “buzz, and we benefit from the novelty and association,” they said.
Setting and breaking a world record isn’t for the faint of heart, but if your brand has what it takes then give it a go. You’ll bring in publicity for your business and will be forever mentioned in print!
What do you think about businesses using Guinness World Record to gain publicity for their company? Which records would you suggest for companies to break? Have you ever participated in a Guinness World Record event? Sound off below!