With the introduction of the Cube to the U.S. market in 2009, Nissan was wandering into uncharted territory. While there were other cars in the line-up targeting young buyers, this was a "youth car" in every sense of the word. Quirky, customizable and inexpensive, the Cube flaunted its roots in Japanese pop culture like no car before. The car was perfectly suited for a digitally focused launch.
We worked with Nissan's agency, TBWA Chiat/Day, to define some broad strokes for graphic standards, then started ideating. Our goal was to make it easy for people to bump into the Cube brand in as many places as possible, and to begin engaging even before launch. The strategy was to use many different tactics, including some very new ones, and interweave them to create a distinct personality for the Cube. We called it "dandelion marketing"...like blowing on a dandelion, sending seeds floating everywhere.
One important expression of this personality came in the form of "Cubisms"...witty bits of original pop wisdom written by Cathy Edwards. We sprinkled new ones daily into the teaser microsite. In one of the first uses of Twitter for a campaign, we tweeted one each day. If you liked a Cubism, you could pop over to a Spreadshirt engine to print it on a one-of-a-kind t-shirt.
Over the course of the year long launch, there were other firsts. We created the first augmented reality experience for an automobile in the U.S.. We worked with the online animation site Xtranormal to create one of the first campaign oriented film contests online. Naturally, we also got busy on Youtube and Facebook, collaborating with Chiat/Day to create all kinds of content, from psychedelic 3D videos to a mobile vehicle "accessorizer" app.