The mind begins to race and the excitement bubbles over when a client first tells you they want to break a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title.
A little bit of apprehension over failing and uncertainty of how to pull it off slowly creeps in.
All those emotions came along with the work for the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy as it sought to break the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for the “Longest line of garden flamingos.”
The park system, the first nonprofit in the nation to manage and operate a historic urban park system, wanted to smash the record held by Pledge the Pink of Callawassie Island, South Carolina, which placed a total of 1,058 flamingos in a line on Aug. 27, 2016. The Conservancy wanted to go for the gusto and place 1,500 plastic pink #FLOmingos (Fredrick Law Olmsted, the park system’s architect) in a line to recognize the 150th Celebration of the Olmsted Park system in Buffalo taking place in 2018.
“At the Conservancy, we understand that landscape architecture is a specialized profession, but we also feel that Olmsted would have understood the humor in a stunt of placing 3,000 #FLOmingos across his beautiful landscapes to become a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS record holder,” said Stephanie Crockatt, executive director of the Conservancy. “Additionally, we are using the kitschy lawn art to raise awareness for recycling.”
Half of the #FLOmingos were placed in the park system’s six parks, seven parkways and eight landscaped traffic circles. Each grouping comprised more than 20 flamboyances of flamingos. A flamboyance is the name given to a group flamingos.
After four hours of set up, Philip Robertson of GUINNESS WORLDS RECORDS confirmed the goal set from months of planning and a small of army of staffers and volunteers behind the effort, a new record was set. Robertson personally counted that 1,500 #FLOmingos touched in a line totaling 2018 linear feet. Ironic, since the record was established in 2018.
The visuals from the event were phenomenal.
Buffalonians of all ages and backgrounds flocked to get a picture with the #FLOmingos. Many waited in line to adopt their own #FLOmingos so they too would be able to proudly display support on their front lawn or gardens for Fredrick Law Olmsted and the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy.
All 1,500 of the pink plastic garden flamingos were sold within the week, helping to raise over $10,000 for the nonprofit organization.
Additionally, Tipping Point Communications was able to help the Conservancy achieve peak awareness through media relations and social media tactics.
Tipping Point helped announce the event four days before setting the record by issuing a media. Locally, four Buffalo television stations, multiple print publications, and two news radio stations covered the stunt.
The Associated Press and The Canadian Press, convinced by striking visuals and a storytelling press release, picked up the story of the record-winning feat that had media outlets in more than 200 cities in North America announcing the new record, along with information on the park’s 150th celebration.
Notable outlets included:
* KHNL-TV Online in Honolulu, Hawaii
Tipping Point was able to determine through a third-party reporting tool that the feat was seen by more than 409 million people. More than $300,000 in media value was earned.
Tipping Point jumped in to assist with social media efforts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Some of the early metrics also showed strong results in spreading the Conservancy’s message to the public and related institutions.
* Twitter impressions increased by 766%. Profile visits increased by 171.4%. Total mentions jumped 116% and 57 new followers were gained.
* A video produced by Tipping Point was seen by more than 34,300 people on Facebook. The video was shared nearly 120 times. It received more than 160 comments, likes, and other interactions.
* Followers grew by 125 on Instagram on June 21, with posts receiving 754 total interactions (comments and likes).
It turned out to be a spectacular achievement for both the Conservancy and Tipping Point.
However, the story of the #FLOmingos does not end here.
The 1,500 plastic pink birds that were displayed around the park system were donated to a local recycling company. They will be recycling the plastic into a composite material that can be used in making a bench or table top to display in one of the parks to commemorate the park system’s “Officially Amazing” achievement.