DALLAS: If you hear a cacophony of party blowers on Friday evening, Chuck E. Cheese’s is probably to blame.
The restaurant chain and family entertainment center is attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the most people blowing party blowers simultaneously at all of its 550 U.S. and Canadian locations.
The company is inviting families to visit their local Chuck E. Cheese’s restaurant on May 19 to take part in the record-breaking attempt, which will take place at 8:40 p.m. EST.
"People will only blow on the party blowers for 10 seconds," said Michael Hartman, CMO at Chuck E. Cheese’s parent CEC Entertainment. "Kids are allowed to breathe; we don’t want any kids passing out after 10 seconds."
The fan club of Nana Mizuki, a Japanese pop singer, has held the Guinness World Record in this category since 2009. Mizuki’s fan club members won the record with 6,091 people successfully blowing party blowers simultaneously for 10 seconds at her concert.
"Hopefully, we will, pun intended, blow them out of the water," Hartman said, about beating the fan club’s world record.
Chuck E. Cheese's worked with PR AOR Current on the campaign. Hartman said the idea to break a world record was developed during a brainstorming session about how best to celebrate Chuck E. Cheese's 40th birthday.
"To make that big we thought: What would you do at a birthday party? The idea of party blowers came from that and we checked if there was a world record associated with that, saw that there was, and we said, ‘Let’s break it,’" Hartman said.
The record attempt is one part of Friday evening’s Biggest Birthday Ever event at Chuck E. Cheese’s. Along with a free birthday party blower, the chain will also give out 120,000 pieces of birthday cake and 40 tickets to every child.
Chuck E. Cheese's started communicating about its 40th birthday at the Hollywood Christmas Parade at the end of 2016. Earlier this year, the chain had an on-cup promotion where customers could win 40 themed prizes. Children who came into the restaurant in the 40 days leading up to May 19 also received 40 tickets apiece. Chuck E. Cheese's has given away more than 15 million tickets for that initiative.
The chain is also giving away up to 40 parties through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Additionally, through the microsite, www.40yearsoffun.com, which was created in February, customers can enter to win a $500 VIP gift party.
The chain is promoting the world record attempt via TV advertising, Chuck E. Cheese's social media pages, on its global website, and on the microsite.
"We have a lot of PR outreach going on, and we have our influencers talking about it as well," said Hartman.
Chuck E. Cheese's works with a panel of influencers on an ongoing basis – donned the Chuck E.’s Champions and Super Estrella’s – including general market and Hispanic influencers. Additionally, the chain is always working with new, top-tier influencers to boost campaigns through Current’s influencer marketing practice. Specifically for the 40th anniversary, 27 parenting and food influencers are working on this campaign.
"We just want to thank all the families that have been coming to us over the last 40 years," said Hartman. "We take great privilege in what we offer to guests. Because we’ve wanted to celebrate all the stuff we’ve done, it was about giving back and, hopefully, folks will come out and celebrate with us."
The chain hosts more than 10 million guests at birthday parties annually, according to a press release.
Amy Colton, EVP at Current, and lead on the Chuck E. Cheese's account, explained that the firm’s strategic approach was to get attention about the birthday leading up to the Guinness World Record the chain is trying to set.
"We are also leveraging the content that comes out of that on social and additional earned media," added Colton. "There are a lot of people out there who love Chuck E. Cheese's, such as pop culture influencers, so we are reaching out to them. It is just sharing a love of Chuck E. Cheese's as the brand celebrates its 40th birthday."
Chuck E. Cheese's 40th birthday celebration doesn’t end on Friday. A variety of other events are planned for the second half of the year.
"We are doing PR events, we will continue doing things on social, updating www.40yearsoffun.com, and providing opportunities for people to win things," said Hartman. "There will be more happening; we haven’t solidified everything yet."