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The stories behind the headlines: Guinness World Records moments from brands including Mini, Microsoft and Red Bull

As Guinness World Records marks 60 years of record breaking, The Drum takes a look at some of the ways brands around the world have embraced record-breaking stunts over the years.

Microsoft – Most participants in a software development marathon

The most participants in a software development marathon in one location is 2,567, achieved by Microsoft in Bangalore, India, from 21-22 September 2012.

In the buildup to its Windows 8 launch, Microsoft organised this record-breaking gathering of coders to develop new apps specifically for its new operating system – with all of the coders having to spend 24 hours writing their programmes together in one space.

Paul O’Neill, a Guinness World Records adjudicator, says: "The record event was hosted by Indian celebrities and the audience included leading global bands. Microsoft had also arranged meditation sessions and motivational Microsoft speakers to help keep their coders going – it was a warm, yet bizarre but hugely enjoyable record attempt."

Mini – Longest wish list to Santa

The longest wish list to Santa Claus consisted of 75,954 wishes. It was collated by Mini and presented to Santa Claus at his official post office in Rovaniemi, Finland, on 5 December 2012.

In the countdown to the launch of its new model – the Mini Paceman – Mini partnered with Guinness World Records to create a new record title for longest wish list to Santa.

Live events brought the campaign to cities across Europe where consumers could submit their wishes to Santa while booking a test drive. Mini took the completed wish list on a 3,500km cross-continental trek from Milan to the edges of the Arctic Circle to deliver the wishes to Santa Claus.

The full list, from 30 different countries around the world, was presented on a scroll weighing 160kg. In total the list measured 3,978.5 metres.

Fiji Airways – Highest altitude wedding on an aircraft

The highest altitude wedding on an aircraft was 41,000 feet and was achieved by Fiji Airways (Fiji) on flight FJ410 from Auckland, New Zealand to Nadi, Fiji, on 7 August 2013.

As part of its launch in New Zealand, the newly rebranded Fiji Airways gave five Kiwi couples the chance to win a wedding at 41,000ft in the air.

Guinness World Records worked closely with the brand to inaugurate a new category for the highest altitude wedding. A week-long radio competition received 441 applications, raising awareness of the rebranding and product. The record-breaking achievement was revealed as a surprise to the lucky couples shortly after they completed their vows.

‘World Record London’ – Guinness World Records, London & Partners – 21 world record titles achieved, 16,000 new record holders

Marathon hugging record of 24 hours 44 minutes set by London & Partners – the official promotional agency of the UK capital – ahead of the London 2012 Games.

Guinness World Records partnered with London & Partners to create a programme of record-breaking live events that successfully engaged partners, businesses, students and residents from across London over a six-month period. Brands participating included Museum of London, Evening Standard and Virgin London Marathon.

One of the record attempts was for the longest marathon hugging, to coincide with National Hugging Day.

It lasted 24 hours 44 minutes and was achieved by Sanderson Jones, Mikey Lear, Andrew O'Brien, Jeanette Xiang Xiang Xu, Rose Manley, Emily Jane Brown and Bryan and Lorna Tulett underneath the kissing statue at St. Pancras International Station, London on 19-20 January 2012.

Mondelez International for Tang – Most toys donated in 24 hours

The largest donation of toys in 24 hours is 20.71 tonnes (45,657 lb) and was achieved by Mondelez International in Dubai, UAE, on 21 August 2013.

Tang, a fruit-flavoured children’s drink owned by Mondelez International, invited kids from all over the region to register at and play games for a good cause. The more points collected, the more toys would be donated on their behalf to less-privileged children.

To drive traffic to the site Tang embarked on a wide-scale PR and media campaign, including a TV commercial, POS and outdoor advertising, SEM and online display ads. On average each child spent over five minutes on the ‘do good’ website and 30,000 toys were donated, weighing a total of 20.713 tonnes.

Talal Omar, Guinness World Records adjudicator, says: “It was so moving to watch kids join a social cause and help those less privileged than themselves. The result was a donation of 30,000 toys to charities across the GCC.”

Red Bull – Longest time spent surfing a wave (male) and longest wave surfed (open water)

The longest time spent surfing a wave in open water (3 hr 55 min 02 sec) and the longest distance wave surfed on open water (43.1 miles/66.47 km) was achieved by Gary Saavedra (Panama) surfing on the Panama Canal in Panama City on 19 March 2011.

The Red Bull Canal Cross project was a brand awareness activity in which the brand teamed up with 13-time Panama National Surf Champion Gary Saavedra in an attempt to surf a non-static wave across the Panama Canal.

Mike Janela, Guinness World Records adjudicator, says: “Gary Saavedra attempted his dual surfing records behind a wave boat traveling up and down the Panama Canal. It marked the first time ever that the Panamanian government and Panama Canal Authority allowed recreational passage across the revolutionary shipping path.”