Loblaw Company Limited (Loblaw ) attempted to set a Guinness World Records® world record on Saturday for cracking the most Parmigiano Reggiano cheese wheels simultaneously (about 300). It was held at numerous stores across Canada at the same time. I went to this “History in the Breaking” event at my local Zehrs store to watch on with about 50 other people.
It took our local cheese cutting expert about 3 minutes to crack his wheel open. I had to see this because I feel the Weston family has been doing a great job of bringing their products to the public in a fairly unique way recently, and this definitely was unique.
Have you seen Recipe to Riches or any of their ads where Galen Weston creates a personal connection with people (1-to1 and in large crowds). He brings such credibility that you cannot help but want to connect with the company he runs.
Here are a few things I took away from this event. And for those of you that think setting a world record using different locations makes it easier, I think you would be wrong.
Take one of these ideas and scale it to help create energy and buzz around your company brand.
The costs to Loblaw Company Limited (Canada’s largest food retailer) to run this event would be significant. They had to train 300+ of their employees how to properly crack an 85lb wheel of cheese. To do that they had to purchase 300 sets of the traditional tools used to perform the cracking and practice on full wheels of cheese. I wonder if they will have a sale on the additional cheese they now have stock – Yum!
The event was branded and advertised in their weekly flyer. The locations required a zone to be defined so that the person could work without help (which would disqualify their effort), but could still be visible to the onlookers and officials. As you can see from the picture above, the location was simple but there were decorations and signage which required planning, design, purchasing, and printing.
Since I have to assume everything was handled at the corporate level, to ensure all locations had the same advantage to succeed then there was management, meetings, and shipping that would have also taken place.
Yes, they did set the official record (read the official release) with 305 wheels of cheese being cracked simultaneously at over 250 locations across Canada, but that was not the only result. They brought in potentially 10,000 people to witness the event and helped connect their brand with the communities they serve. While at the store I share the excitement with the employees that watched on and I felt part of their achievement which brings them close to me, their customer.
If you search their world record you will also see the articles, videos, news, and blogs created by independent sources, like mine, on their accomplishment. There is nothing like having other people talk about you and your business, especially when it is all good.
In addition, they have helped raise the awareness of Parmigiano Reggiano around the world. There was a tasting after the cracking and the cheese was so flavourful.
About Loblaw Companies Limited
Loblaw Companies Limited, a subsidiary of George Weston Limited, is Canada’s largest food retailer and a leading provider of drugstore, general merchandise and financial products and services. Loblaw is one of the largest private sector employers in Canada. With more than 1,000 corporate and franchised stores from coast to coast, Loblaw and its franchisees employ more than 135,000 full-time and part-time employees.
I know I could learn something about business from a company as successful as this one. It’s making me think about what my next PR event might be – maybe not a world record, but definitely something that will bring me closer to my customers and clients.