New Guinness World Record established
From left: Sujeewa Wijewickrama( Quantity Surveyor), Srikanth Selladurai (Marketing Director) , GSK Sri Lanka, Sub Lieutenant Yoshitha Rajapakse, Kumar Sangakkara, Ms. Alison Ozanne (Representative - Guiness World Book of Records), Sacthi Thomas (Managing Director GSK) and Kumar de Silva (Sales Director , GSK).
The hottest topic discussed over the weekend was the Guinness World Record broken for the largest cup of tea anywhere in the world.
This event is part of the launch campaign created by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for Viva. The event was overseen by an official Guinness Adjudicator from London, UK who monitored the entire process from beginning till the end and handed over the official certificate confirming the attempt to Mr Sachi Thomas - Chairman/Managing Director - GSK Consumer, Sri Lankan cricket captain Kumar Sangakkara, presidents son - Sub Lieutenant Yoshitha Rajapakse were the main invitees of the event.
The previous record held was held by the Health Centre in Fort Scott, Kansas, USA, on 26 September 2009. The cup had been constructed to hold 3,000 liters, which is 660 gallons of tea. The record created by Viva was a massive 1,000 gallon cup of tea.
"You see many launch campaigns happening every day, every minute all around the world. We wanted to do something different, something that people would talk about for months to follow. Not only did we want a successful launch campaign but we also wanted to make the country proud of its signature drink, tea. So from this moment onwards, every time we sip a cup of tea, we would all be reminded of this very moment and how it was energized by Viva" said Mr Thomas.
The record was achieved at approximately 10.00 am in the midst of cheers from all at GSK and the hundreds of Sri Lankans who flocked to the location to show their support and to be a part of this historic moment.
"We were amazed by the number of people who turned up to show their support irrespective of the short notice given to them. That's the greatest thing about all Sri Lankan's, their patriotism is always showcased when we have to unite as one nation in brining glory to the country. The support we received was just brilliant!" quoted Mr Thomas further.
Although the campaign was broken to the public only 3 days prior to the actual event, planning had started 2 months ago. The giant cup was 10 feet in height & 8 feet in width. It was designed using 16 gauge, 1 inch thick steel which was nickel plated. Six, 2000 wattage heaters and a stirrer powered by motors and generators to keep the tea warm. The process of making the tea commenced at 3.00am with the boiling of 4,000 liters of water in specially engineered boilers. The management of GSK said this process took approximately 3 hours to complete. Once the water was boiled, 64kg tea, 160kg sugar and 875kg Viva was added to make a delicious energy packed giant cup of tea.
"There was never a doubt about whether we could break the record. We had the determination and all the support needed to make it a reality. More than breaking the Guinness record, what we wanted to do was to put Sri Lanka on the world map for its true tradition - Tea" stated Mr Srikanth Selladurai - Director Marketing - GSK, Sri Lanka.
Adding to the excitement and drama once the record was broken, the large cup was driven around the city in a convoy accompanied by the sales force and distributors of GSK. People from various parts of the country gathered at different locations within the city to catch a glimpse of the large cup and to create their own memories with it. Everybody who was part of the record breaking activity had the opportunity to taste new Viva tea right out of the large cup.
GSK partnered with JWT Sri Lanka to make the re-launch a success. The synchronization between the 2 partner companies was the foundation in which the record was achieved.
"GSK is one of the most supportive and energetic clients we work with. Not many companies are receptive to embarking on a challenge like this. It could result in either a huge success or a terrible failure. In this case, because of the trust and commitment we place in one another, it resulted in the biggest launch that the country has witnessed and we are glad that we did it with GSK" said Thayalan Bartlett - CEO JWT, Sri Lanka.