Guinness Records are Hot Again

by Roger Pynn

What we’ve always considered a staple for generating long-lasting global recognition, setting a Guinness World Record is once again gaining popularity and challenging the creativity of organizations out to promote their brands.

Here in Orlando, our friends at the Orlando / Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau capitalized on the opening last week of the new Amway Center to reinforce its savvy and hugely successful Orlando Makes Me Smile! campaign by setting a Guinness World Record for the most people creating a Smiley Face.

At last count there were half a dozen Guinness Record certificates on our walls here at Curley & Pynn – for everything from creating the World’s Largest Crayon (a project for Dixon Ticonderoga’s Prang Crayon brand) to several major events at Universal Orlando Resort including the World’s Longest Drum Roll promoting the opening of the Hard Rock Hotel and the World’s Largest Cocktail in partnership with Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville during the opening of Universal City Walk.

Now our friends at the University of Central Florida are chatting up an attempt by their College of Education to help set a world record for the most people reading the same book on the same day with 3- and 4-year-olds from the UCF Creative School for Children reading “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats along with UCF education students and volunteers.

The reading event was designed to call attention to the importance of reading.

The Guinness Books and Records will be around a long time and they assure searchable reference to your accomplishment.  Beyond that is the opportunity to engage large numbers of your stakeholders (employees, customers, friends and neighbors) in a fun way.  Not to be overlooked, however, are what can be huge logistical challenges.  Believe me … making a 10-foot tall crayon was no walk in the park, and just for safety’s sake we made two.

A few tips if you’re thinking of attempting a record breaking event:

1)      Contact Guinness ahead of time to be sure they have an interest.  Just because you set or break a record doesn’t mean they will certify or publish it.

2)      Make sure you understand and follow all of Guinness’ requirements.  They aren’t difficult, but they are specific (such as requiring having a public official on hand to certify your results – which, by the way, can be as easy as finding a Notary Public to be on hand).

3)      Be certain what you are doing is relevant to your brand.  UCF’s reading project is a good example … what is more relevant to education than teaching kids the importance of reading?

4)      Have an experienced special events and logistics team.  You’ll likely have volunteers to coordinate, media to deal with and any number of last minute logistical issues to nail down.

5)      Don’t forget to have fun.  These aren’t things to take seriously.  They are supposed to be light-hearted so celebrate what you are doing and let the media know you understand this isn’t the most important thing happening in the world this day … but it is something people will find fun and interesting.

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