Binge watching to victory

In order to bring a multimedia player launch out of the confines of traditional trade press and make a splash in mainstream media, a new Guinness World Record was set... for binge watching.

It was April 2016, a Sunday, unlike many others in New York City save for one – in the early dawn, a Brooklynite by the name of Alejandro “AJ” Fragoso emerged sleep-deprived and victorious from an apartment in Gramercy Park. His accomplishment?

He just broke the Guinness World Record for binge watching TV for 94 hours straight using PowerDVD, CyberLink’s flagship multi-media player (the software you use on a computer to watch movies, TV shows or listen to music). The monumental achievement of epic millennial proportions was proposed by Diffusion to latch the product launch on top of a trending news item to maximize exposure to new audiences.

Binge watching has become a cultural phenomenon, ushered in by the accessibility and ease-of-use offered by streaming platforms Netflix and Hulu. You load it up, pick a show, and find yourself three hours later displaced in the future, unaware that you actually did just consume half a season of Gilmore Girls. Today more than 70 per cent of Americans engage in binge watching, and some of CyberLink’s own market research shows that 69 per cent of American millennials have never felt any shame for their binge watching practices - quickly propping it up as a serious threat to America’s current favorite pastime.

The staying power and relevance of binge watching has massive opportunity for brands to connect with consumers. CyberLink wanted to amplify the annual summer update of their media player PowerDVD, and for Diffusion tying that launch to the core concept of binge watching allowed the company to cut through mainstream noise and raise its brand profile among an ever-coveted demographic: millennials.

Coordinating with both CyberLink and the Guinness World Records team, Diffusion executed the stunt starting with three contestants to take on the challenge of breaking the TV binge watching world record (the previous record was held at 92 hours by four Austrians). As time passed, two of the three contestants broke eye contact with the TV and were disqualified from the event per guidelines set forth by Guinness World Records - but on April 12, 2016 between the hours of 4 and 5 AM, Fragoso was officially recognized by a Guinness World Records judge as the new record holder. His achievement, breaking the record using CyberLink’s newly launched and updated PowerDVD software, cemented both of their names in the annals of TV binge watching history.

With a deliberate media strategy set to take flight as soon the record broke, when news caught wind of the record being broken solely by a millennial Brooklynite, it spread like wildfire. Across the world, there was rampant coverage chronicling the trials and tribulations of the record attempt, made possible through the video and audio enhancements core to PowerDVD’s media playback capabilities.

Richard Carriere, senior vice president of global marketing at CyberLink, said: “The Guinness World Record attempt was part of a campaign to breathe new millennial air into one of our core products, PowerDVD, offering the playback software as an essential toolkit for all binge watching endeavors. It was an incredible campaign that introduced our software to new audiences all over the world with a fun, irreverent twist—and the best part is, that a year later, we still hold the title!”

The way we consume media is always changing, but the campaign Diffusion put forth for CyberLink proved one thing—binge watching definitely isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

With Binge Watching to Victory, Diffusion PR and CyberLink won a North American Excellence Award in the Technology & Consumer Electronic category. Hosted by Communication Director, the Excellence Awards recognise the best in corporate communications and public relations, and take place on five continents simultaneously.

Image: Diffusion PR