The growth of technology and social media has allowed brands to be more creative in the ways they unite and engage audiences online, whether to celebrate, support, or promote a specific cause.
From cultural sensations like the Game of Thrones season finale, to more serious events such as good cause awareness days or months, brands have tapped into the power of digital record-breaking to initiate global movements.
It has been used for positive change, and to drive conversations on relevant and trending topics among a wider audience.
For example, PayPal (USA) helped its customers get into the spirit of giving during the 2015 holiday season by organizing a massive record-breaking fundraiser as part of its #GivingTuesday campaign – an initiative created as an alternative to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
After achieving the record for the most money raised online for charity in 24 hours, PayPal not only made record history with the help of its global following, but also raised over $45 million for numerous charitable causes.
Look at how these next four companies created its own online marketing campaigns to bring digital communities together to achieve record history for a purpose.
Hulu – Game of Streaming
To celebrate National Streaming Day on 20 March 2019, Hulu set out to attempt the record for the longest live-stream (video) as part of its “Game of Streaming” online marketing campaign.
After streaming HBO on Hulu from 13-20 May for 161 hours, 11 minutes, and 32 seconds continuously leading up to the epic series finale of Game of Thrones, the record was officially confirmed a success.
Using the hashtag: #GameOfStreaming, Hulu invited their online community to join the conversation by tuning into a live broadcast of the streaming party and tweeting their reactions to the Hulu social team during the record-breaking experience.
The Orange Project – #WorthLiving
Jennifer Dee, Vice President and Director of Integrated Production at McCann Health New Jersey, suffered a very personal tragedy when she lost her longtime boyfriend to suicide, brought on by mental health issues.
This led to her creation of The Orange Project and the first phase of its #WorthLiving online campaign – a digital movement which asked people to post photos and videos sharing what makes life worth living.
Beginning on World Suicide Prevention Day in 2014, the initiative yielded a whopping 18 million impressions.
Building on the success of the campaign’s first phase, The Orange Project contacted Guinness World Records for creative digital record ideas to help with its phase two of the campaign.
In 2017, the organization called upon its worldwide digital community for support in setting the record for the largest online photo album of handwritten notes.
Using orange sticky notes to represent positivity, schools and groups around the world were invited to write notes of encouragement and inspiration for friends, family, and beyond followed by uploading them to social media using the hashtag: #WorthLiving.
On 4 January 2018, it was officially confirmed that The Orange Project and McCann Health New Jersey (both USA) had achieved the title after receiving a total of 34,244 photos of handwritten notes, inspiring millions around the world.
Mike’s Hard Lemonade – ‘Like’ For Mike’s Birthday
Mike’s Hard Lemonade (USA) had two objectives when organizing its 2016 online world record campaign — celebrate the 17th year as a brand and ignite its target audience of millennials with a celebration that would go viral. And that’s just what they did.
To prepare for the big celebration, the brand leveraged the Guinness World Records attempt for the most candles on a cake to encourage its Facebook fans to get involved - for every ‘like’ the brand received on their Facebook post, they pledged to add another candle to its birthday cake.
Over 50,151 responses later, Mike’s Hard Lemonade successfully achieved the record on 13 April and then fired up the blowtorch to deliver on its promise in a viral video stream of its record-breaking feat.
Berklee College of Music & Steve Vai – Music Education Online
On 3 March 2011, Grammy®-award winning guitar virtuoso Steve Vai (USA) brought together 4,455 members of the international guitar community in just the first 15 minutes of a record title attempt for the largest online guitar lesson.
The record-breaking initiative was part of Berklee College of Music's national education campaign to position the school as an innovator and leader in online music education and to raise awareness for its new online courses.
The virtual event was held in New York City at streaming media platform - Livestream Studios - where Vai had accrued nearly 7,000 participants by the end of the digital guitar lesson in celebration of online music education.
Berklee also announced a donation of $7,000 - one dollar for each student who participated in the lesson - to the Steve Vai Online Scholarship Fund through the school, which rewards and assists outstanding students.