Business / Companies

Guinness gimmicks could wreck, not boost, brands

By Wu Yunhe (China Daily) Updated: 2015-11-26 07:52

Guinness gimmicks could wreck, not boost, brands

Students from Yangzhou prepare the largest ever serving of fried rice, at a park in the city of Jiangsu province on Oct 22, 2015. [Photo/China Daily]

I was shocked by the huge quantity of food wasted during a recent Guinness World Records event in Yangzhou, a city in Jiangsu province.

The Guinness record-setting "Largest Serving of Fried Rice" on Oct 22 needed 4.2 tons of rice, eggs and other materials to prepare. The word "serving" is defined as food that needs to be served to people.

But, around 150 kg of the fried rice was eventually used as feed for a local pig farm, said a Jiangsu TV report.

Sang Jianceng, vice-chairman of the World Association of Chinese Cuisine, said the 150 kg of fried rice was not considered as food because it turned unhygienic due to exposure to elements in an outdoor area for a long time.

Fittingly, the record awarded to the WACC and Songjiacheng Sports and Leisure Park in Yangzhou, Jiangsu province, was canceled four days later by the Guinness World Records Consulting (Beijing) Ltd.

During an recent interview with Maccabee, a strategic public relations and online marketing agency in the United States, Jamie Antoniou, senior PR manager for Guinness World Records North America, said in an interview that ideally such events should be associated with a worthy cause or charity.

The advice is really worth learning for Chinese who wish to either challenge existing Guinness records or set new ones to hog global limelight.

Currently, many such record-chasing events in China didn't have a strong sense of charity. The Yangzhou event, for instance, not only wasted enormous amount of food but seemed to disregard current social values like austerity.

There is also a lesson here for Chinese companies and local authorities as well. For, they usually associate with Guinness events to hog global limelight.

In recent times, applications from China for Guinness records, and official recognitions for Chinese individuals and groups, were far more than those in the United States and Japan.

In August, the largest in-bed breakfast event was staged involving 450 participants at Sheraton Chaobai River Hotel in Langfang, Hebei province. Other similar events included 14,345 people taking a collective hot spring bath in Chongqing and a 112.37-meter barbecue string in Suifenhe, Heilongjiang province.

All these events had nothing to do with charity. Nor were there any business motivations and brand promotions associated with them.

According to Antoniou, brands should tread the Guinness water carefully, especially when they decide to stamp their corporate logos on events. For, any negativity toward an event could hurt related brands as well.

Previous Page 1 2 Next Page

Hot Topics

Editor's Picks