Every year hundreds of brands, agencies and organisations embrace their spirit of adventure in the pursuit of a Guinness World Records (GWR) title and the chance to share a story of unique achievement with their customers, colleagues and the world.
From pizza deliveries at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro (Pizza Hut) to gravity-defying loop the loops and barrel rolls in a car (Jaguar), these are brands that thrive on challenge.
However, electronics giant Panasonic has gone a step further: not only has it set a Guinness World Records title to prove its AA alkaline battery is the longest lasting in the world, the company has also undertaken a series of highly creative and innovative record-breaking challenges that have engaged and inspired the wider community in Japan while showcasing the battery’s strength.
The record was awarded on 15 January 2008 and since then Panasonic have continued to improve the Evolta’s performance and have re-broken their own record several times, most recently in 2019 with the latest version of the battery, the Evolta NEO.
Panasonic’s passion for record-breaking extends beyond the commercial and PR benefits that this achievement can bring; it also reflects the vision of Panasonic’s founder Konosuke Matsushita to advance ‘progress and development of society and the well-being of people’ through their business activities’.
To celebrate the battery’s exceptional endurance, Panasonic created the Panasonic Evolta Challenge, a campaign that put the battery to the test in a variety of innovative and engaging endeavours. New challenges are set every year, many of which have starred the battery’s robot mascot, Mr Evolta. What’s more they have set some incredible world records along the way.
In 2013 Panasonic partnered with toy manufacturer TOMY and the pupils of the Takinogawa-Daishichi Elementary School in Kita ku, Tokyo, to built the world’s longest plastic train track.
The track measured an astonishing 5,608.44 m and was constructed from 26,667 Takara Tomy pieces. To demonstrate the Evolta’s superior durability, a toy train powered by a single AA battery travelled the entire length of the track. After the event the rails were donated to five organisations in north-eastern Japan affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. News of the record-breaking achievement was reported by four Japanese TV networks and was covered by over 180 online and print media outlets.
Panasonic’s next record-breaking adventure saw the brand collaborating with students again, this time from the Kawagoe Technical High School. Their ambition was to build a battery-powered train that could travel further than any other.
The train was built entirely by 13 students from the high school and took almost two years to complete. Finally in November 2015, the train - weighing a whopping 1,097kg and powered by 600 batteries – set off on its record-breaking journey from Maego station in Akita prefecture. During the two and a half hour journey the train made three stops so that people on board could get on and off and drivers could swap around.
Having accomplished battery-powered travel on land, Panasonic moved its focus to the skies for another record attempt the following year. Working in collaboration with engineering students at Tokai University, the brand embarked on an extremely ambitious challenge, to build and fly a plane powered entirely by batteries. Since a record of this type had never been attempted before Guinness World Records opened up a new record category for the greatest distance travelled by a fixed-wing aircraft powered by primary dry-cell batteries.
Unfortunately the record attempt was not successful as the aircraft did not achieve the minimum distance stipulated in the record guidelines. Despite not achieving a new record title, the project itself was deemed a success because it counted towards the students’ degrees and was a valuable learning experience on their path to becoming scientists and engineers.
2018 marked the 100th anniversary of Panasonic and the 10th anniversary of the Evolta brand. To celebrate the occasion Panasonic sent robot mascot Mr. Evolta NEO on a new adventure, to complete an epic 3km swim to set a new Guinness World Records title for the longest distance swam by a robot on a single set of AA batteries.
Once again the batteries didn’t disappoint and Mr. Evolta NEO completed the record-breaking journey in 3 hours, 22 minutes and 34 seconds.
If Mr. Evolta NEO and Panasonic’s adventures have inspired you to embark on a record-breaking adventure of your own, visit our business solutions site to learn more about how your organisation could set a world’s best. Good luck!