Nissan Cube: Web Buzz

Nissan Cube

Harris Interactive UK

The third generation of the Nissan Cube was launched in Europe in January 2010, notably France, UK and Italy. The car was seen as being quite different and unique from other vehicles in its class. As such, a groundbreaking method was employed by Nissan of launching the vehicle.

Nissan used the Internet as a platform to generate buzz around the vehicle in conjunction with a number of events at temporary pop-up stores. Nissan also set-up a dedicated, restricted access website for the launch which was only shared with the general public once the car had officially been launched. The excitement and buzz around the vehicle itself was used as the advertising medium as opposed to using traditional advertising channels.

Nissan was eager to understand the success of the campaign, this included:

  • The volume of web activity
  • What tone comments being left had (i.e. positive, negative or neutral)
  • What the perception of the Nissan Cube was
  • Which websites / social media sources had the most web activity
  • Whether the communication itself was effective

Harris Interactive was commissioned to conduct a piece of research which involved using a Social Media Monitoring Tool to monitor mentions of Nissan Cube (and all other associated key words).Two stages of monitoring were utilised, the first ‘Pre-launch’ campaign involved searching for material which had been posted prior to the cars launch (including reviews, blog comments, videos and other posts), the second ‘Post-launch campaign’ involved searching for similar materials but in relation to the launching & post launch stage of the campaign. The searches pulled up all content related to the Nissan Cube and related launch activities in the countries of interest.

We were successful in tracking Cube activity by month and allowing Nissan to have a clear understanding of the number of web posts being made, based on websites which were accessible to the public domain. From this, we were able to classify the posts based on the tone of the mentions and to provide counts for the most popular websites and build author profiles. In allowing Nissan to assess the success of the campaign as a whole, our Social Media Monitoring tool was used to look at web activity around the launch of a competitor vehicle (the Kia Soul) a year earlier.

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