January 2, 2013

Want to Get Noticed? Set a Record.

The next time you check out the Guinness World Records look past the glass eaters, world’s largest pizza, tallest people, and other weird acknowledgments and you may be surprised at what you find. In a new marketing and publicity initiative, some prominent companies are taking “getting noticed” to a whole new level. 

Recently, Estée Lauder found their way into the record books by setting a record for the “most landmarks illuminated for a cause in 24 hours.” Estée Lauder’s Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign illuminated over 40 worldwide landmarks in pink lights for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Another bold publicity move was seen with luxury hotel company Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., who set a record for the “largest-ever resistance-band strength-training class.” The Jim Pattison Group, who owns the Guinness World Records, brought on these publicity stunts by creating a new marketing records division as well as a PR division in order to help companies market their brands and gain media attention.

These bold marketing tactics certainly catch people’s attention and are entertaining, but are they effective in building awareness of the company? That all depends on what the company wants and what the company actually gets from the stunt. 

In Estée Lauder’s case, their pink illumination record certainly gained attention from the media but was probably not needed to bring attention to an already widely recognized health campaign. The company had already made its mark by being behind one of the most recognizable symbols for breast cancer, the pink ribbon. They co-created the symbol with SELF magazine, and it appears on many of their make-up products.

As for Starwood Sheraton, their world record helped in promoting their new upgraded fitness programs at the hotel, where about 270 people participated in a fitness class in the rain. This type of record-breaking publicity stunt can be beneficial to the company because it not only gains immediate attention for being out of the ordinary, but it is also a relatively inexpensive marketing tactic. According to the Wall Street Journal, Starwood Sheraton spent $120 million on their fitness upgrade at the hotels but only spent about $4,739 on the Guinness Records process. 

This trend of record breaking seems to be a cheaper and more creative marketing alternative for companies who wish to gain media attention without going through traditional marketing methods, which can be very expensive and require a lot of outside employment and time. 

What do you think about these stunts? Are they effective? Would a Guinness World Record make you more aware of a brand or product? Let us know!
This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Jessica Lopez.

Orignal post can be read here.

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