As I’ve learned through reading cases and witnessing first hand, word of mouth is HUGE when you’re looking to get a message across or a product sold. If you can get people talking positively about your company your message carries much further than any ad or commercial would. Interestingly enough, marketing agency Capital C has decided to do a full product launch using this idea but by primarily using social networks and social media tools.
Coming in Spring of this year Nissan Canada is looking to release the Nissan Cube, an entry level vehicle positioned to compete with the likes of the Scion xB and the Kia Soul among others. These cars are targeted towards a younger audience but follow along the same shape,size and price so a large portion of how these cars will be competing is on personality and emotional connection with the car( personalization options, community etc).
Rather than go for the traditional route of placing advertisements which have little interaction and communication with the customer, Nissan through agency Capital C has opted to release the Cube differently and has decided to rely entirely on Social media to get its message out. The campaign called Hypercube which started in March relies on users of social media sites such as Facebook, Myspace and Twitter to get people talking about Nissan’s new product before it launches and build connection and strong interest among a potential customer base.
How did they do this?
By setting up landing pages on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace a competition was started where Canada’s creative population (considered influencers in this car’s segment) compete for the opportunity of owning one of 50 Nissan Cubes. Starting as a free for all ‘audition’ people would register through a main portal (hypercube.ca) where they are then whittled down through the use of audition profiles to 500 users who then must vie not only for the daily votes of their peers through whichever creative means possible, but impress a panel of judges who will in turn give away 50 of the little Cubes. Each of the 500 participants are provided with a ‘canvas’ where they may direct votes and be as creative as possible with. After the cars have been awarded winners are then obligated to post online about how they use and customize their newly won cars to demonstrate the usability and personality of this product.
Outside of this contest Hypercube’s fans are not forgotten. People still interested in this contest/car still remain engaged in this campaign. Not only are the encouraged to check out each participants canvas and vote but through the social network Twitter they are interacted with and encouraged to build community. With posts in French and English @thehypercube interacts and gives mention to people who create content or ask questions about the Hypercube and the campaign, and more recently has even directly interacted with fans through the formation of Hypercube meetups.
Having consistently received Twitter messages, group requests and hearing about it in my interactions with him I figured by mentioning him in this blog post he might leave me alone! I kid! I feel he’s done a very good job in interacting with and building upon his social networks and with his success deserves the mention.
Using his Twitter nickname @photojunkie Rannie posses the question: ” Where should PhotoJunkie go in his Nissan Hyper Cube in Toronto?” Within his canvas Rannie uses his talents as a freelance photographer and takes panorama photographs at many known and unknown locales in Toronto demonstrating to people a new side of where they live ( many of his followers reside in Toronto).
But I think this is only half of why he is currently at #18 of 500 participants. A very important part of his run for the car is the fact that he engages his network and makes them feel that they play a direct role in his success. Yes there is the constant posts and messages received by him asking “have you voted for me today” but its also like he’s bringing fans with him on these Panorama’s (in some cases actually doing so). Including a counter of photos’ distance traveled and total campaign stats he lets people know of his progress.
Another important aspect of his Hypercube campaign is that he also directly involves his fans in the creation of these pictures, on a consistent basis he asks for suggestions of new photo locations as well as encourages people to tag along and be part of the locale itself. In this regard Rannie has harnessed what social media and word of mouth marketing aims to do and that is having people feel like they are part of the story and an active participant rather than having a message blasted in their face. By voting for him participants feel like they are part of his winning, almost like they are winning themselves.