Guinness World Records looks to tap into Asia-Pacific’s record-breaking desires

Saturday, 9 June 2012 00:44 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Ripley Entertainment, the holding company for Guinness World Records, is hoping to build on the brand’s presence in Asia-Pacific with the launch of live attractions. 

“Guinness World Records (GWR) is doing very well in Asia-Pacific, where it’s regarded as a serious and prestigious brand,” Jim Pattinson Jr, president of Ripley Entertainment, said yesterday at the introduction of the company’s live-event concept at the Hong Kong Conferece and Exhibition Centre. “The Asian market is the future of our company, and we’re looking to grow here as a family-entertainment business.” 

Launched in 1954 by then Guinness Breweries and acquired by the Jim Pattinson Group under Ripley’s Entertainment in 2008, The Guinness Book of World Records is now sold in more than 100 countries and is published in 26 languages. Despite its 58-year heritage as a reference book, however, the GWR brand is best known in Asia for its record-breaking events.   

“In the UK and the US the book is our main source of revenue, but over here in Asia, our business is driven by events and licensing campaigns,” Frank Foley, GWR Asia-Pacific regional representative, told Campaign Asia-Pacific.  

These events can range from the Panasonic Evolta battery’s record for “Longest distance covered by a battery-operated remote control car” to Ishigaki Island’s record for the “longest skewer of meat”.   “From promotion for huge global brands like Panasonic to putting a remote Japanese island, and their newly launched airport, on the map, a GWR is a truly important recognition here in Asia-Pacific,” Foley said.  

Beyond books and events, GWR is also known for its TV shows, which are watched by more than 800 million viewers worldwide, including local editions in China, India and the Philippines.  

The internet has only advanced and amplified the brand’s popularity, Pattinson said. “More people know of us than ever and over 140 million people view our channel on YouTube.”  

Technology has also made it easier for GWR to do what it does. “We’re discovering new records every day,” Pattinson said. “We wouldn’t have found Sultan, the world’s tallest man, without the internet,” Pattinson added, referring to the 8 ‘3” Sultan Kösen, who was present at the launch.  

Now the brand hopes to expand its presence in Asia-Pacific with the launch of live attractions. Four years in the making, the planned 2000-sq-metre facilities will feature exhibits based on the GWR brand, with the main draw being a chance for visitors to attempt to break and set official world records.  

“The internet has also created a fascination and importance to real life,” observed Pattinson. “I’m sure Asian families will enjoy the chance to set a record of their own.” 

As yet, there are no set dates or venues for the attractions, as GWR is on the hunt for franchisee partners. “We target the first attraction to launch in Asia-Pacific during the next three years, and the markets we’re most keen on are Hong Kong, Beijing, Singapore and Malaysia,” Pattinson said.