B!G Silver: Nissan and Capital C go media free

Nissan faced the challenge of launching a truly unique vehicle, the Cube, to a demographic they had never connected with - urban Gen Y - in an extremely tough automotive market.

The challenge

Nissan faced the challenge of launching a truly unique vehicle, the Cube, to a demographic they had never connected with – urban Gen Y – in an extremely tough automotive market.

The insight

The launch needed to be as original as the product itself. The target was 18- to 35-year-old first-time vehicle owners – youthful, spirited, creative and very unique – and psychographically early adopters.

This community wasn’t the kind to sit still – in fact, they were at the forefront of the social media revolution and jumped at any chance to showcase their creativity. Capital C knew they’d be willing to combine both for the chance to win a new car.

The B!G idea

Nissan would launch the new vehicle without any traditional media support. The automaker reserved 50 Cubes for the largest giveaway of cars in Canadian automotive history.

Capital C invited over 10,000 of Canada’s most creative individuals to apply online for a chance to win one of the cars. Interested participants started following @thehypercube on Twitter, which quickly evolved into the hub of campaign activity as anticipation built.

Before auditions even started, participants set about getting themselves noticed through blogs, tweets and postings on the Cube Facebook page. Finally, 500 finalists were invited to work with an online ‘blank canvas’ to post photos, images, illustrations, videos, music, writing and whatever else they came up with to earn the votes of their peers and win the judges over. Simultaneously, they were getting the word out about the Cube.

The impact

The Cube became the first Canadian vehicle launched entirely through social media. Sales were above target for the first two months of the launch and are now on target to reach sales expectations for the year.

Approximately 7,000 people entered for 500 competitor spots. Those 500 recruited another 50,215 people to register, leading to 250,502 votes. The finalists’ canvases were viewed almost 1.4 million times. The project garnered over 60 articles in national and local newspapers, TV, radio and blogs.

In the end, 50 people were awarded Cubes at simultaneous events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Those winners have become Cube ambassadors and the leaders of the Cube community.

What the judges said

‘A bold strategy combined with a strong consumer insight took this into the area of consumer advocacy. A remarkable example of going beyond advertising.’

- Prasad Rao, Rao Barrett and Welsh

‘The insight marrying the uniqueness of the design with a psychographic target that prides itself on the same is only outshone by the creative and gutsy engagement. Bravo. That’s a trusting client.’

- Peg Hunter, Home Depot Canada

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Intro

Gold: Juniper Park and Frito-Lay

Bronze: Ogilvy and Hellmann’s

Judging panel