Nissan’s Socially Conscious, Mobile Lovin’ Cube: Overkill or Cool?

CubeMediaPost has a great article on how Nissan’s marketing for the Nissan Cube took inspiration from the mobile world (specifically the iPhone) and centered on engaging perspective consumers through social media. There’s some great commentary and conflicting veiwpoints, and the central question that emerges is whether or not latching on to ‘what’s hot’ will spell success or overexpose a brand as a copy-cat and risk consumer backlash.

“Brands need to be careful associating themselves with the Apple vibe right now. We believe the brand is overexposed and heading for a consumer backlash,” – Scott Taylor, Founder of Taow

Something we’ve discussed before on the blog is that your company’s culture needs to be ready to embrace new digital and social media efforts before you jump in. MediaPost brings out the other side of the spectrum – make sure your consumer messaging and efforts resonate with your audience and doesn’t copy what people are used to already. Sure, success might follow success, but today’s digital audience is a fickle bunch and following the leader instead of innovating might not be the best answer.

The National Post reported on the Cube campaign in Canada (congrats to our friends at CapitalC), where 500 people competed to win the Cube in a contest where they showed their enthusiasm for the spunky car online. The campaign might have been everything Nissan hoped for as the site received visits from 149 countries and 1.4 million “canvas” views, spawning 300 YouTube videos and prompted some especially enthusiastic contestants to form

All this social media love looks great but what would really be interesting is hearing from Nissan on the ROI. Did all the buzz and user engagement result in the cool kids walking through the dealership door and actually buy a Cube? Would the same revenue have been realized through traditional 30 sec spot marketing or did social media make a difference? Ultimately was there….our favorite word…Value?