Who doesn’t love a challenge, or getting involved with something quirky and potentially crazy? Almost everyone can at least appreciate the effort that goes into setting a world record even if they don’t see the fun in attempting one, and this is one of the reasons why Guinness World Records has stood the test of time.
Guinness Records continues to draw around 50,000 record applications every year, although only thousands of these actually get accepted.
The first volume of the Book of Guinness World Records was essentially created to settle an argument in the 1950s, when there weren’t a lot of ways to settle pub arguments over who was the tallest man or who could hold a handstand for the longest. So the book was essentially a peace keeping device at the beginning, started by Sir Hugh Beaver the managing director at the Guinness brewery.
But why do we love world records so much?
Firstly, these world records set a standard, which many will read and think “I can beat that” which then spurs them to try and beat the challenge. These world records allow for scores to be settled, fun to be had, and for people to become recognised for their achievements.
Some of the world records aren’t just wacky and strange, there’s some that are factual and based on historical discoveries or science. So for those wishing to absorb more information and be the best at the pub quiz, it’s an appealing read.
From a business perspective, some companies are now using world records to increase brand awareness, or to increase awareness of an issue that the world is faced with. Recently, as part of Plastic Free July, an eco bags manufacturer in Wiltshire took on the record for the World’s Largest Jute Bag in an attempt to promote the use of plastic-free alternatives and to raise brand awareness.
The book was something that many households and schools, particularly in the UK, would have had a copy of at some stage even if they didn’t have every issue. Now, many of the records are documented online, offering a wealth of opportunities for brands and individuals to get noticed.
Even as we move further in to a digital age, the number of applicants shows no sign of slowing down!