Guinness World Records

How setting a world record can boost your marketing strategy

When it comes to marketing ploys and PR stunts, the opportunities are endless. Especially with the growing integration of marketing and PR methods both digitally and traditionally.

One proven method is through receiving an award – which can show expertise in a company’s field, can highlight to consumers the success and power of the brand, and can provide some cost-effective PR help through regional or national coverage, depending on the award.

But, there is one type of award that provides an even more interesting PR story, and helps the brand stand out as far as marketing goes: setting a world record.

Setting a world record can cement a company in the general public’s mind and can provide wide-reaching coverage, while also helping clarify the brand’s identity.


A quick and easy PR Boost

PR and marketing professionals advocate for winning awards as a way to achieve the basic PR targets and gain some coverage in the ‘lay season’ or between major promotions. Awards offer an easy approach to keep the company’s public persona ticking over – and can range from nationwide 30 Under 30 awards to bespoke local ones.

75% of marketers also said they want to increase their PR spending in the future, witnessing the value that strong PR and publicity stunts produce. Regardless of the award, to win is a huge coup in terms of a brand’s standing in the eyes of the marketing department.

With 70% of consumers wanting to connect with a company outside of standard ads and 68% of consumers more likely to engage if interested according to Launchwaymedia, choosing a quick and simple award is lucrative and effective.


The Guinness World Records

When awards are light on the ground, many companies opt to invent their own awards, in a manner of speaking, by setting world records with the aid of Guinness World Records. Companies large and small opt to win records that are both relevant to their business to showcase their brand as an expert in their field – or even some that are completely irrelevant but strong enough to bring in the publicity needed and strengthen the brand’s image and recall.

With 53.9% of consumers distrustful of purely sponsored content, having a natural PR story circulating through a Guinness World Record is the perfect way to increase brand standing. Indeed, looking at the awards received by brands offers some insight of the different guises these confirmed world records can take on.

For example, Porsche broke the record for the most viewed non-motorsport film with its video of a Porsche model towing an Air France plane, which accrued 4.4million views in three months. To celebrate Bestival 2014’s Desert Island Disco theme, they broke the record for the largest disco ball, which was then thrown into the sky on the final night of the festival. The stunt attained an AVE (advertising value equivalent) of £28,950 and reached 30 million views.

Indeed, the Kellogg’s stunt of the most cereal boxes toppled like dominoes also gained a great amount of PR traction. Over 3 million people were reached, more than half a million with videos of the event, and over 14,000 interactions on Facebook, with a further 50,000 video views on YouTube. The move would likely have added to the brand recall and reminded consumers of the many offerings of Kellogg's - all used in the stunt.

Moreover, casino provider Betway broke records with the largest slots jackpot ever won in online slots at €17,879,645.12 (£13,213,838.68). This record not only solidifies Betway for potential audiences with brand awareness, but also remains relevant enough to showcase the business and its products. In 2015, for England Rugby, participants flocked from across the UK to Chichester to take part in the record attempt for the most continuous rugby ball passes backwards over a 5m distance, aiming for a target of 280 passes. The attempt, although unsuccessful, helped gain England Ruby coverage nationwide, and even the people in the stadium may have been persuaded to connect with rugby through being with the atmosphere on the pitch.

In partnership with the 2012 Olympics, Cadbury helped set a series of records through fan participation of a series of games in tandem with the official ones. Records included the fastest tea maker and the fastest doodler, completed by ‘everyday heroes’. According to reports, that led Cadbury to hit a five-year market share high.


How to win a record as a marketing strategy

While hearing success stories for brands demonstrates how effective setting a record can be, but how exactly does one go about it? Firstly, you should scour the records for ones that are both easy enough to break without being attempted by someone else at the moment, and at least partly relevant to the brand’s message. Having Guinness adjudicate can be expensive, so ensuring the record is winnable is crucial – otherwise, the PR story may be one of failure and embarrassment, which isn’t the right kind of publicity to covet. Once you have established the record you want to win and think you can, begin a strategy of how you can use the event as a PR story both before, during, and afterwards. Drum up attention with a series of lead-in stories, ensure that both press and the correct social strategy is in place during, and allow enough coverage afterwards to tout the results of the stunt. Indeed, watermelon juice start-up What A Melon took part in a Guinness World Record breaking 29-hour pitching session as part of their greater business strategy, leveraging the opportunity to break a record while highlighting the USP of their business.

Marketing in 2018 can be a difficult battlefield to navigate. Entrepreneurial Leigh Purnell, the creator of crowdfunded fastest mobile phone charger, attempted several record-breaking stunts before settling on the device, using the record-breaking know-how to crack the market. Evidence shows that a nifty PR trick can pay back in revenue that would otherwise have been lost in over-saturated advertising. Winning an award, or helping create history by making your own with a record, can be an effective way of enshrining your brand or company for decades in the literal history books.

Published: 28 March 2018

Article by Special Feature
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