How CSR is providing Guinness World Records with new brand engagement

We chat with the head of public relations for the world-records book to hear about the impact of corporate social responsibility on its brand strategy

Utter the phrase ‘world record attempt’ in anything other than a sporting contest and the immediate connection is to Guinness World Records and the eponymous book that records them.

For 63 years, Guinness World Records has been adjudicating attempts across a database of more than 53,000 achievements and extremes. It has broken records in its own right as the best-selling copyrighted book of all time, selling 141 million books annually, and has an annual television audience of 750 million. All of this has helped it achieve brand recognition of 97 per cent in the US and UK.

Not surprisingly, many other brands have begun to think about leveraging the power of the Guinness World Records brand, often in support of their corporate social responsibility activity.

According to Guinness World Records’ head of public relations for EMEA and APAC, Doug Male, his organisation has seen an increase in corporate social responsibility (CSR)-related attempts both across the world and Australia throughout 2018.

“Brands that organise their Guinness World Records attempts through an event or through an experiential element provide their audience and passers-by a truly unique experience,” Male tells CMO. “By allowing participants of the record to be part of history, brands can add credibility and prestige with the official Guinness World Records adjudicate present. This provides instant verification, so an announcement can be made on the same day.”

Male says mass participation events enable hundreds or thousands of people to be involved in something related to the brand, and at the same time create a united community all working towards the same goal, “which is particularly powerful when combined with a special cause”.

Male cites as an example the attempt organised by Irish breast cancer survivor, Deirdre Featherstone, to break the record for the largest simultaneous skinny dipping session. On a day in 2018 in Wicklow, Ireland, 2505 women attended a ‘Strip and Dip’ event to raise awareness of breast cancer and raise funds for the national children’s cancer charity Aoibheann’s Pink Tie. Male says more than €160,000 was raised by the women, who came from every county in Ireland as well as 22 other countries.

“Another great example is UCHealth and the Denver Broncos in the United States, who wanted a fun and unique activity to raise awareness for men’s health and encourage screening during the month of November,” Male says. “To capture nationwide attention, UCHealth with its partner the Denver Broncos attempted the record for the largest gathering of people wearing false moustaches.”

Taking place during a live Sunday Night Football game, the attempt involved 6471 participants and reached over 105 million impressions in media including Yahoo and Bloomberg.

Male says Guinness World Records has built a consultancy team that works with brands to develop their creative strategy and helps decide what record they should attempt, as well as organising a Guinness World Records adjudicator to judge the attempt.

“We encourage brands to consider why they are attempting a record, and if linking it to a CSR related record is the best way to amplify their message and make it a worthwhile cause,” Male says.

Critical to launching a successful attempt - or even an attempt that fails but still delivers a CSR benefit - is the need for planning, as this minimises the risk of the risk of any negative consequences as well as ensuring brand alignment.

“We work closely with the brands to ensure there is careful planning and amplification is done in the right channels to ensure the attempt and team are not misinterpreted,” Male says.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu   

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Why defining brand strategy is vital to capitalising on quick wins

Big brands were once protected from small brands by high barriers to entry. Big brands had the resources to employ big agencies, to crack big ideas and to invest in big campaigns. They had the luxury of time to debate strategies and work on long-term innovation pipelines. Retailers used to partner with big brands.

Troy McKinnna

Co-founder, Agents of Spring, Calm & Stormy

3 ways to leverage the talents of your team to avoid disruption

​According to the World Economic Forum in its most recent The Future of Jobs report, the most important skills for the future are not technical, task-oriented skills, but higher-order skills such as creativity, social influence, active learning, and analytical thinking.

Gihan Perera

Futurist, leadership consultant

CMOs, it’s time to stop squandering customer attention

Businesses continue to highly value the attention they buy through paid media, yet at the same time, many continue to disregard and under-value opportunities to connect with customers using their owned media.

Well written Vanessa!! Agreed with your view that human experience is marketing's next frontier. Those businesses who are focused on the ...

Clyde Griffith

Forget customer experience, human experience is marketing's next frontier

Read more

Great tips for tops skills need to develop and stay competitive

Nick

The top skills needed to stay competitive in a rapidly changing workforce

Read more

The popularity of loyalty programs is diminishing, though I'd say it is because customers are savvy enough to recognise when a loyalty pr...

Heather

It’s time for marketers to rethink their approach to ‘loyalty’

Read more

Thanks Nadia for sharing this blog. It has really useful and amazing information about Salesforce Commerce Cloud and digital engagement w...

Holly Smith

Adidas taps data and technology smarts to build personalised digital engagement with consumers

Read more

clearly someone who's jealous and only comments from the safety of being behind their keyboard

Peter Sibson

The purpose of purpose - Brand science - CMO Australia

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in