|Type||Contest where 50 Nissan Cubes were given away to undeserving snobs, ass kissers, and screamo faggots.|
|Timeline||February 2009 to June 2009|
|Key people||Greig Nori,|
|Industry||Social Media, Networking, Ass Kissery, Whoring One's Soul|
|Rules||OMG Get Crazy Creative!|
|Website||Hypercube Canada - The Insanity Is Complete...For Now Anyways...|
From the end of February to the end of June, Nissan Canada Inc. launched their brand new car, the Cube, using only social media on the internets by way of a contest called "Hypercube" where they'd be awarding 50 creative contestants with cars of their very own, free and clear. Nissan would even pay the taxes.
The contest turned out to be what'll likely go down in the advertising history books as the most botched contest Canada's ever seen, as well as the biggest social media disaster by an advertiser so far.
While Nissan Canada Inc. and Capital C, the ad agency responsible for the contest, were jerking each other off in the media for completing what they claimed in the Globe and Mail to be the biggest giveaway of cars in Canadian history, we here at ED spent our time doing some digging and what we've uncovered is...unethical, maybe even criminal, corporate lulz.
- 1 Background
- 2 Judges
- 3 Timeline
- 4 Hypercube Events
- 5 Complaints and Controversy
- 6 Top 12 Questionable Winners
- 7 Ethics? What's that!?
- 8 Catherine Uhlig Green
- 9 CubeCommunity.ca
- 10 Profiting Off the Losers
- 11 #FAIL
- 12 Quotes
- 13 Gallery of Butthurt and Brand Hatred
- 14 TEH DRAMAZ
- 15 Linkage
On February 27th, Toronto based promotional agency Capital C, launched an advertising campaign for the 2009 Nissan Cube using only social media. The premise of the campaign was a contest called "Hypercube" where "creative Canadians" would compete and audition to win 1 of 50 $25,000 Nissan Cubes. Capital C thought this was a big deal, as a car had never been launched before without using traditional media.
The contest ran from February 27th to June 23rd, 2009...in other words 89 fucking years in internet time.
At first, the rules were simple: sign up for an account at Hypercube.ca, make a Twitter account if you didn't have one already and follow @thehypercube for contest details. Then wait a few weeks for an e-mail inviting you to complete a "Facebook-like profile" on the Hypercube website, which would then be judged and from this pile of profiles, the 500 contestants would be chosen.
The official rules and regulations were available on the Hypercube website since the very beginning of the contest and they stated that the 500 "chosen ones" would show of their creativity, talents and uniqueness on some kind of blank canvas and that, along with getting people to vote online for their canvases, they would be judged by a panel of "celebrity" judges by their "a) Uniqueness, (b) Creativity, (c) Personality, (d) Enthusiasm" as well as "(e) Survey Responses" and "(f) Peer Voting Results".
However, throughout the course of the contest, the rules and regulations page was edited several times to change the dates of when things would happen, such as when judging would take place and the winners being notified and halfway through the voting process, the following was added: "In the event of a tie, the highest score on Peer Voting Results will be used to determine the Prize Winner."
These weren't the only changes to the rules during the contest. At one point @thehypercube, aka Angie Kramer, creative director at Capital C, told contestants that votes only accounted for 20% of the winning criteria and that the contestants shouldn't worry about them too much. About two thirds of the way through the contest, Angie Kramer also told contestants that Twitter participation and interaction counted toward the winning criteria, causing everyone to suddenly be a lot more vocal on Twitter about the contest and the Cube. These things were never put into the official rules, however the "peer voting results" addition to the official rules was a result of people freaking out about their rank and being whiny cunts about Hypercube being a popularity contest.
English Canadian Judges
"If you're even slightly aware that there's a Canadian music scene then you know this rock legend's exploits. From appearing on MuchMusic's disBAND to managing and producing Sum 41 (maybe you’ve heard of ‘em) to carving his own niche in the indie rock scene as founding member and frontman for Treble Charger. He’s been there. Done that. And a lot more."
"There’s a reason she’s called “Party” Pelosi. But that’s a different story. First and foremost, this lovely lady is one of the hardest working people in snowboarding. Whether she’s destroying the competition (male and female) on the mountain or being one of the driving forces of progress for women’s snowboarding in general, she somehow still finds time to party."
"You know those awesome concert photos where all that incredible energy of a single moment is captured as a still image, yet still seems to move? Yeah, that’s Dustin. He’s been shooting concert photography for over 16 years and is notorious in the music industry as one of the best there is. And it probably doesn’t hurt that he’s a favourite of the bands he works with."
French Canadian Judges
Winners would be required to sell their souls and suck corporate dick for the next year by blogging twice a month on Nissan's new website about their hipster adventures with Cube, as well as be available for at least two media events.
On February 27, 2009, Nissan Canada Inc. launched Hypercube. From then until April 8th, creative Canadians were invited to sign up and start twittering.
Roughly 7,000 people signed up (about half the population of Canada) of which 500 finalists were selected. On April 13 they were asked to audition and express themselves through an online 'canvas' at hypercube.ca.
As with all cool, hip things on the internets, contestants started having Tweetups because it's so much easier to be creepy IRL.
The first one was organized by Tswizz on April 9th at some lame bar in Toronto. She brought a laptop and a webcam and posted a link to a Kyte.tv chatroom so everyone not in Toronto could see how lame they all really were.
As this event provided an easy way to get on the cool kid list, three more were planned. Kyte.tv archives all video and chats so the world may revisit their online pop & chips parties at any given time:
If anyone missed it, @heartsandclefs likes to play the guitar.
Between April 16th and May 15th, contestants were supposed to get creative and make pretty canvases. They could update and change their 'canvases' as much as they wanted in order to show how creative they were. Up until the final versions of canvases were uploaded, contestants would harass their friends and families to vote for them every day via Facebook, Twitter or by any other means necessary for them to get much coveted votes. Voting didn't actually mean anything in the end, but it sure was a good way for Nissan to get the public invested in the contestants they were voting for. Unfortunately when some of these contestants didn't win, it also caused all the voters to actively hate Nissan and the Cube brand in particular.
Seeing as Nissan started this whole fucking thing in February and it was already May, they thought it best to stay the course and make the contestants wait over a month from when the voting ended until they announced the winners on June 23rd at cheap, crappy parties held in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.
As of the first week of July, they have not been able to get the website up that is supposed to showcase the winners. If this product launch bombs any harder, they can probably just wait another month and just start making commercials for the Cube and no one will remember that this contest ever happened.
Capital C hired Debut Event Design, best known for doing weddings, to plan events in Montreal (Club Soda nightclub), Toronto (CiRCA nightclub) and Vancouver (Gossip nightclub) where the winners of the Hypercube contest would be announced.
At all three events, there were one or two blue Cubes present to set the atmosphere and each contestant, upon arrival, was given ONE DRINK TICKET and a purple glow-in-the-dark bracelet, supposedly so contestants could be identified amongst the regular folk. Other than that, the only thing special about the events was that they all had "candy bars" set up where guests could fill pink and orange mini Chinese take-out containers with all kinds of candy, but most people agreed that this was a bit cheesy and juvenile considering everyone in the contest was over 18.
Also cheesy was the fact that the events themselves were only 3 hours long and the only entertainment was that of Hypercube contestants themselves, most of whom fucking sucked and most of whom ended up fucking winning.
All three events had three big screens set up: one to show what was happening at the other events, one to show what was happening on stage for those who couldn't see and one where guests could text messages with their cell phones and then the messages would show up on the screen. (These messages were pre-screened and manually put through, likely so people who were butthurt by not winning couldn't write "FUCK YOU COCKSUCKERS!" across the screen.)
When it finally came time to announce the winners, all three screens were used to show lame MTV Video Awards style animations in "blocks", the first being Montreal, then Toronto, then the final batch from Vancouver. The producers felt that adding stock clips of TIE fighter firing sounds would somehow add to the awesome futuristic theme.
Complaints and Controversy
There was a lot of controversy throughout the entire contest and many complaints lodged with @thehypercube. Perhaps the most noteworthy is that of the canvases themselves.
Right from the very beginning the Flash-based application people were forced to use was buggy and problematic and people grew extremely frustrated with having to use it as it would log people out randomly, without saving their work or when people logged back in after previously saving, the layout they worked so hard on was suddenly chaotic and all over the place. At the end, most people made either a Flash file or JPG of what they wanted their canvas to look like and uploaded that instead of dealing with the canvas application at all.
Another complaint was that it was obvious, again from the very beginning, that people were either getting friends to do their canvases or they were hiring designers to do them because certain people who you wouldn't traditionally think to have great Flash or illustration skills had these amazing, professional-looking canvases. This wasn't against the rules, but the whole point of the contest was to showcase their own creativity, not someone else's.
When voting began, people were upset on both ends of the spectrum. Some were upset that they weren't getting tons of votes and that the contest was nothing more than a popularity contest, while the contest itself took a lot of criticism from friends of competitors over the sheer amount of Twitter and Facebook spam the contest was generating. Capital C claims that it was never their intent for contestants to incessantly spam their friends to vote for them, but everyone knows that's bullshit and everyone even said so at the time.
In the beginning of the contest, there were only the 3 English judges, but then the Frenchies had a shit-fit so they scrounged up 3 French judges no one in English-speaking Canada has ever heard of.
Angie Kramer (aka @thehypercube) showed up at some of the tweetups held in Toronto which people thought was unethical. And they may have been right, many of the Toronto winners clearly came from this clique of people.
At the end of the French judging period, Sylvain Grand’Maison, one of the judges, announced in a Qik video that he had just helped award $250,000 worth of cars to the French winners causing people to go apeshit as the contest was supposedly about the most creative in Canada, not about geography. This was the first inkling that Nissan Canada Inc. had geographical quotas, which was verified when the winners were announced.
At the end of the contest, Debut, the company hired to plan the events announcing the winners, seemingly fucked up and sent invitations to the winners first and everyone else afterward. Angie Kramer, once again, claimed via Twitter that the invitations were sent randomly, but that was probably a lie to cover the fuck up considering who got theirs first. To most people's recollections, those who said they got their invitations first ended up being winners.
All throughout the contest, people talked quietly amongst themselves at how ridiculously slow the pacing of the contest was in general and the obviousness of Angie Kramer playing favourites in whose messages (usually for votes) she retweeted.
Just about everyone who attended agreed that the Hypercube events were cheap and sucked dick.
Tony Chapman, the CEO of Capital C is a giant douchebag. Or at least that was the consensus after an article came out in The Financial Post about two thirds of the way through the contest where Tony had this to say:
—Tony Chapman, Chief Wanking Officer of Capital C
Suddenly Twitter was all...well...atwitter with pissed off contestants who weren't models, didn't have dreads, had kids and liked to eat food. These people felt like Capital C was casting people who looked creative for a commercial, not having a contest that would reward actual creativity and that all of their efforts thus far had been wasted. They felt angry and alienated and let the Twitterverse know.
Once again, Angie Kramer by way of @thehypercube tried to smooth things over by saying that creative moms and dads were just swell - she was one herself! - and everyone should just relax, but people kept talking and kept being pissed off.
In a bold move, one contestant even threw caution to the wind and called Tony Chapman out as a douchebag on her blog:
—Disgruntled Hypercube Contestant, Sunny Crittenden
—Tony Chapman, Clueless Cocksucker
Top 12 Questionable Winners
This knob apparently just graduated from college for advertising, yet somehow came up with the most obvious, bottom shelf idea possible (that someone else in the contest actually had first). His creative expression was to dress up in a "Cube suit" and videotape himself doing car-like things such as going through a drive-through or parking. And on special occasions he even rapped...
It was horrible. "AZN kid from Thornhill, Ontario, Canada" horrible.
We're thinking everyone should call his alma mater and demand they give him a full refund. We're praying that Capital C wasn't involved in the judging process, because any self respecting ad agency would fire a creative for this idea. Now that he has a real car and his cute little n00bsuit is gone, what the hell is he going to do to promote this car for the next year? Oh and did we mention that using copyrighted music was against the rules yet he uses LOTS of it in his videos, which appeared on his canvas all throughout the contest?
Telma Costa Patmore
It's not what you know or how creative you are, it's whose ass you can get your tongue into.
It's good that most of this contest was online because it's so much easier to type than it is to talk when you tossing the Interactive Creative Director’s salad for 4 months. Telma and Angie Kramer (aka @thehypercube) have been BFFs since this contest started.
Aside from all the creative ways Tswizz can tongue-swish a chocolate starfish, her creativity also included arts and crafts, writing "I <3 Cube" on people, places, animals and things, and mutilating her head into an "asymmetrical Cube style" to proudly display her enthusiasm as well as her massive fivehead.
Amelie Paul made a mark on this contest and surprised all the participants. She surprised them by taking horrible music to a whole new level and still somehow managing to win.
Her band Mythical Number sounds like a cross between Roxette, Celine Dion and the worst goth/industrial rock ever to assault your eardrums, while apparently rocking out for Christ all at the same time.
While we generally support profiting from someone else's tragedy, they managed to squeeze out the worst cover of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" ever recorded mere hours after his death was confirmed. Recording it wasn't enough though. She also pimped it several times on Twitter just to make sure everyone knew just how awesome profiting from someone's death can be, all the while pretending that she wasn't sure if it was tasteful to promote the song.
Amelie spent some time in the modeling world, which must be where she met her thinly closeted boyfriend/band mate, Paskal Theirault. When he's not playing crappy goth fag guitar, sporting those cool tribal tattoos or giving tips on wearing guyliner, he's available for all your other homoerotic needs. It's also obvious she must have had her brain surgically removed when they augmented her tits. (Amelie, you didn't have to trade one for the other, apparently no one explained that to you slowly enough.) You can tell she's a deep thinker and stays true to her ideals.
—Amelie Paul, rocket scientist
When Nissan Canada Inc. and Capital C announced that they were launching a vehicle completely via social media everyone actually thought that contestants might actually have to USE social media in order to win.
Luckily for Bev Hogue, everyone was wrong. The most social media interaction Bev can boast is a grand total of 17 Twitter updates, spam-adding 1,131 followers and receiving 422 spam followers back. If that wasn't lame enough, her entire canvas was 1 painting she made and in her information she listed her website.
Basically she filled out her information on her canvas, put up a picture and did nothing else for the remaining months of the contest...and won a car. When an already well established artist barely participated in the contest and wins, you have to wonder if some of the winners weren't pre-selected.
Bev shouldn't get all the credit for being useless, with 10 tweets total, 34 followers and 38 followees, Alwin makes her look like a social media queen. While he says he has his own clothing line, we're not sure how silk screening Run DMC logos (Oh wait, he changed a couple letters, although not the design mind you) on American Apparel t-shirts qualifies as a clothing line. And while Bev at least had her own website, Alwin’s "site" on is Dropbox.com which is basically a Flickr account. Before you manage to remove your palm from your face, take a second to consider that he won over Daniela Pizarro who actually DESIGNS a line of clothing called, wait for it, "Hypercube", as well as participated in the community for the whole contest. When Tony Chapman was asked to comment on this, he said "Twice has those hipster dreads, so it’s okay."
When Chris Musina showcased a flip-book style video of a dog morphing into Nissan Cube and a drawing of wild animals, he seemed to have forgotten to include talent or creativity in his canvas. Luckily, this doesn't seem to matter when you have a link to your Flickr account showcasing pencil sketches of furry "art" in all its glory.
The good news: at one point during the contest, he apparently quit painting. The bad news: for reasons unknown, he announced on his blog on June 19th that he changed his mind. He made the right decision the first time.
Okay, we’ve ruled out "uniqueness", "talent" and "creativity", now what?
He joined Twitter a month after the contest started and only had 267 tweets. He had his YouTube channel to fall back on, but with 109 views on his most popular video and no ratings on ANY of his videos; it looks like he failed "personality", "enthusiasm" and social interaction too.
If you click enough links, eventually you can see that he was part of a team that created a big ass dinosaur sculpture for the Discovery Channel. He never mentions what he actually did. Based on the evidence, we'd have to assume he sat in the corner and huffed glue, randomly yelling out about "how fucking awesome that fucking dinosaur is."
No one bothered to list "geographical location" as one of the criteria for winning, yet it is pretty obvious that it was when you look at the "Dirt Cube" and its maker, Dirtbar Mark. Mark’s only attempts at creativity were building an incomplete wood and cardboard Cube frame that he could mount on his car and a website called CubeClub.ca.
The first problem was that the Dirt Cube completely failed. It looked like something made at retard summer camp and fell apart when he tried to paint it.
He was in fact so full of fail that twice during the contest he announced that he didn't think he was going to win: first, when he failed at the Dirt Cube and second when he contacted at least two other contestants to take over CubeClub.ca. because he wouldn't be able to run it after he lost because he had "nothing to offer creatively." Granted, I'm not sure who would want to take over CubeClub.ca. because it had minimal participation after the first day it was launched and even less after Mark fucked it up by deleting the wrong file and losing all of the forum's posts. No one bothered trying to rebuild what little there was to begin with after that and currently the forum has 3 posts.
Strangely enough, Mark flew all the way from PEI to Toronto to attend the Hypercube event and we're supposed to believe he didn't know he'd won beforehand? So, other than his blatant misogynistic attempts to hit on all the women in the contest, no one can figure out why he won.
Oh, we almost forgot to mention that he has a gig writing about cars for AutoNorth.ca, which might have had something to do with it. This is really suspect since the rules and regulations clearly state that contestants are only eligible if they "have never accepted compensation for writing, without limitation, automotive related articles."
Remember that whole geographical location thing that helped Dirtbar Mark win? Samantha Babin was twice as useless as Mark and won because she's from Halifax, Nova Scotia. There is no other reason. Check her canvas and see if you disagree (If you can deal with the shitty dance music that she apparently created herself). With what seems like a recurring theme in Eastern Canada, her canvas looks like it was designed at retard computer camp. We've seen Angelfire websites designed by preteens that look better than this.
Also, the video on her canvas shows Boxxy tendencies...just sayin'.
—Hypercube's eligibility rules
Taylor wasn't living in a province or territory at the time of entry. Taylor lives in California. Taylor was living in California before the contest started. Taylor is still living in California. We're not sure how Nissan Canada expects someone in California to promote their vehicle in Canada. We also wonder how he will be participating in the two media event appearances he is required to make in the next year when he's not in the country. We'd also be interested to find out how he's going to get car insurance legally. He has never gotten an American driver’s license which is required to get insurance in the US. Or maybe he'll lie and say he's living in Canada and get Canadian insurance and live in Cali anyway (we also wonder how he plans to PAY for his insurance since his canvas says he has no income). It doesn't matter if he lies though because he lists waveuth.com on his canvas which is some Jesus thing or another and Christians know they can lie all they want as long as they say sorry.
We're not sure we can accurately describe how useless this waste of sperm is, but we'll try. It's not just that he has that constipated pretentious French "I'm better than you" look mixed with that "I came in last at the Special Olympics" look, it's that we don't even think he'd make it into the Special Olympics.
The facts? On Twitter he is following 3 people: @thehypercube, @mythicalnumber, @johnmayer. Let's break that down for you. He's following the contest's official Twitter account, a French emo gothfag band from the contest (that he rips on in one of his videos) and John Mayer. On purpose. John Mayer.
During the contest, he managed to squeeze in 13 tweets for no one to see because he only really used twitter to talk to @thehypercube. We don't think he really understands what Twitter is. He doesn't seem to have a grip on YouTube either though with a total of 6 videos between April-June. The video with the most views is 54 and it's a hockey montage that has nothing to do with him or the Cube. His 5 remaining videos which are all about this contest average 15 views and most of those are because we keep pulling them up on computers at parties so everyone can laugh at him. He links to HollywoodTuna.com from his Hypercube profile for reasons that aren't exactly clear. The more we see this guy, the more we WANT Québec to separate from the rest of Canada.
Here is a translation of one of the videos on his canvas, for those who don't speak frog:
(Fake Parisian French accent) "You probably recognize me from some of my important roles; Nutty Professor, Coming to America... I'm Eddie Murphy". (in Spanish) "I'm going to talk a bit about my life, I am a student at the University of Sherbrooke, but wait! I don't speak Spanish!?" (French Canadian accent) "This message is not addressed to my millions of fans who check out my profile a million times a day each, but to the ladies and gentlemen of the judging panel. I feel the competition is fierce. There are web page designers and their profiles have to explode of the screen, they have degrees in it...but me, I'm just a regular boring guy with no personality (sarcasm intended). I am Mr Personality!!! - you have to give me a Cube. You can't give a Cube to some big-boobed singer who has a degree in advertising - what the hell is that? She already has a Nissan. I'm an impoverished student who is pitiful (don't I look pitiful?). So I am addressing you only to say, remember your first goal...end slavery, free America and give me a Cube. Thank you."
This guy won a $25,000 car for that.
Here's the thing about Mike Haire, we like him. we wish he was our teacher in Elementary School. He seems like a fun guy and he seems to really get his class excited. Here's the other thing about Mike Haire, none of that has anything to do with the Hypercube contest. His canvas is all the fuck over the place. He even has one video on there that covers up another one. Since he teaches Digital Visual Arts, you'd expect that most of the creativity he shows would be videos. And they are, but they are videos that his CLASS made, not him. They all have a bunch of little kids running around doing silly kid stuff. Nissan, maybe you missed this, but your target market is not 13 year olds. There was one video that it appears Mike made all by himself. It's video of him eating the entire burger family at A&W. Yup, we're talking Grandpa Burger, Papa Burger, Mama Burger, Teen Burger and a Baby Burger. It looks like exploiting kids, overeating, 182 twitter updates and a canvas that could use a colour scheme is what Nissan was going for after all.
HOLD THE PHONE! What is this? Is this a RateMyTeachers.com profile? Hmmm.
For the most part Antony seemed to have it together, but he gets thrown on the list because... Edward Cullen? Are you fucking kidding? He should be banished to grade 5.
Ethics? What's that!?
Of all the strategies used to win, there was one that stood out as the most brilliant. This subtle and amazing tactic was nothing less than knowing a judge. Some might say this is insanely unethical. No, I think everyone would say this is completely unethical. Let’s give credit where credit is due.
Hey Cubies, this is some text we wrote about Rafe. Read until the end and we'll tell you what it's about!
What do you do when your band is featured on Much Music's DisBAND and is found lacking? You enter a contest about creativity, sucking equally as bad and somehow win. Rafe did just this, but he had a secret weapon. You see, on DisBAND he was coached by Canadian music industry icon and Hypercube judge Greig Nori. Nori actually helped Rafe work on some of his songs on the show. These same songs appear on his less than impressive Hypercube canvas. Amazing that when you have a judge who's put time and effort into your music, that you somehow win despite the amazingly crappy music that you write and record. We're really not sure how this is in any way ethical. In fact, we'd be really surprised if we didn't see Nori producing Rafe in the near future and sending him out in his Cube to get that extra little publicity from this contest. Enough of the slimy business politics, let's move on to the actual creativity of Rafe Malach.
The first thing you'll notice when checking out his canvas is that almost all the songs sound the same (actually the first thing you notice is how adolescent his canvas looks). And we're not talking catchy the same, we're talking "fucking horrendous" the same. His "music" sounds like the crap that our friends were writing in 7th grade when music first became cool and they got a Casio for Christmas.
Aside from his pathetic attempt at music, he also sported very little Twitter participation - which remember kids, supposedly counted - yet was followed by uber-douche Capital C boss Tony Chapman the day that the 500 contestants were chosen.
He has stated that he gets 25,000 channel views a month on YouTube, yet his most popular YouTube channel, which features artists OTHER THAN HIM has only 54,000 total views. His other two YouTube Channels that feature HIS music have fewer views between them than the channel featuring other people's music. He has a few videos that have a large amount of hits and I'm guessing they were the ones linked on his Hypercube page or linked in some way with DisBAND since most of his videos have under 200 views.
So yeah, what is Rafe about? Rafe is about crappy music that all sounds the same. Crappy music that makes us want to punch him in the face. Fuck, we’d listen to Amelie Paul before this shit.
Robin Van Gyn
Wow. RVG has an impressive canvas. We can believe that she won. First off, it looks cool. Not just that, but she’s also a pro snowboarder, an event and marketing manager, freelance writer, crap, she’s got it all. Even her top 5 look cool. She’s so cool in fact that, speaking of top 5s, Leanne Pelosi lists her as one of her 5 favourite girls to ride with. Y'know, that's the thing about RVG, she probably had a pretty damn legitimate chance at winning this contest, but we'll never know since her BFF (and boss) was one of the people judging it.
Anthony Boronowski has a pretty smooth looking canvas. Like Robin, his canvas lists a lot of really creative, interesting things that he does. First off, he’s a pro skier. That’s pretty damn cool. Okay, next he lists design. It looks like he designs graphics for ski equipment. That’s kind of cool. There are only 11 products that show up on the page linked on his canvas, but that’s still 11 more products than I've made designs for. Apparently Anthony paints too, but we can only see three paintings. Maybe he’s new to painting and hasn’t really gotten all the way into it yet. Lastly he lists video as one of his creative talents. We clicked, but there are 3 videos from 2008 and the rest are all from 2007. It seems there’s nothing from 2009 at all. There’s some cool skiing shit, but he’s a pro skier, so what else would there be? The videos all pretty much look like home movies too. We suspect that someone wanted to be cool like his friends and make videos but discovered it was too much real work. Okay, so he was off getting his degree, maybe he didn’t have the time. Sadly this is not a contest to see what kind of degree you have though. Oh and even if he doesn’t mention it on his canvas, he still links his blog in his "My Links" section. Guess what? Every post since this contest started is all snapshots and no text. Oh actually there was one post with text:
—Anthony, emerging novelist
With this blog post's foray into social media, let’s take a look at what else Anthony had to offer in terms of social media since this was a social media campaign after all. Let’s start with Twitter. Well, he has a lot of tweets, but it seems that there’s only one person in the contest that he’s following. You might think it was @thehypercube. Remember, when the contestants signed up and filled out their profiles? It said right there to follow @thehypercube on Twitter to get contest updates, so it would make sense. Well, that would be wrong. Anthony is following Leanne Pelosi. Word on the slopes is that he’s been following her for a while, and by following we mean they dated a while back. As for the rest of his interaction in the contest and the such, well there just isn’t any.
—Anthony Boronowski, June 24th via Twitter
At first glance, Jeff Keenan looks like a pretty valid winner. He’s a pro snowboarder. He’s a cinematographer and producer of snowboard movies. He’s the co-creator of a snowboard company. Okay, his canvas looks a little like something we made in grade 3, but hey, some people like that kind of thing (especially Hypercube judges apparently). So it's not so much what's on his canvas that makes Jeff a sketchy winner, it's what his canvas seems to be missing. Nowhere in his top 5 does it list his girlfriend. I mean, how could you date a woman as awesome as Leanne Pelosi and fail to bring that up as one of your top 5? After thinking long and hard about it, we think maybe it's because she's one of the judges in the contest. Hell, we bet she got a tonne of extra oral during the four months leading up to June 23rd. Which is pretty fucking likely since, according to one source, he lives with her at 8143 Alpine Way in snowy Whistler BC. If anyone wanted to call & double check that? His number is (604)938-9527.
Ya know what else seems to be missing from his canvas? Jeff works at Leanne’s all-girl MGT Snowboard Camp in Whistler. Well, would you look at that! So does Robin Van Gyn! Holy shit, what are the odds? Anthony Boronowski, too? CRAZY COINCIDENCES DON’T YA THINK?
Catherine Uhlig Green
—Nissan Canada, as fair as they want to be.
Catherine Green, Nissan Canada Inc.'s marketing manager whose LinkedIn profile can be seen here, had this to say when questioned about three of Leanne Pelosi's friends, employees and boyfriend winning $25,000 Cubes:
From: "Green, Catherine" <Catherine.Green@nissancanada.com> Date: July 10, 2009 2:16:17 PM PDT (CA) To: [email@example.com] Subject: RE: Nissan Hypercube contest Hi [REDACTED], We couldn't get over the talent and hard work all of our hypercubists put into the contest. We're glad that you enjoyed it. Because I don't know which judge or winners you are specifically referring to, I'm going to keep my response somewhat generic. Because many Canadian industries are small, we expected that our judges may have at some time crossed paths with contestants. That's part of the reason why we used a three-judge panel, to ensure that the judging results were free of bias. Entrants were scored by each of the judges independently and the scores by each of the judges were added up to determine the final score. We've investigated any instances that have been brought to our attention of a judge knowing a contestant, and in every case we do not believe that there is any individual bias that would have influenced the final results. I hope that I have been able to address your concerns. Regards, ______________________ Catherine Green Nissan Canada Inc. Manager, Nissan Marketing Marketing Department firstname.lastname@example.org 905.629.6427
Well, Catherine Uhlig Green, if the snowboarding industry was so small and incestuous, then why the fuck was Leanne Pelosi a judge to begin with? And you really want people to believe that a panel of THREE judges all agreed upon THREE of Leanne's cohorts independently? Do you really think that little of your demographic and hypercubists' intelligence?
Nissan Canada Inc. and Capital C are working on launching CubeCommunity.ca, which is where the contest winners will be blogging about their super exciting Cube exploits, like visits to grandma at the nursing home, camping with the gang and road trips to such milquetoast destinations as the library, Blockbuster and Tim Hortons.
But CubeCommunity.ca is going to be so much more than that! It's going to be an interactive hub of Canadian creativity! There are going to be forums where artists, photographers, writers, dancers, models and circus clowns from all across our fine nation can network and connect with each other as well as be discovered by potential employers! As Tony Chapman puts it:
—Tony Chapman, Advertising Douchebag Extraordinaire
We don't know about you, but we can't wait to join this glee club of creativity!
Profiting Off the Losers
Angie Kramer, by way of @thehypercube, informed contestants that:
— Angie Kramer, Interactive Creative Director, Capital C Communications
Just about everyone now knows that this "something special" Nissan Canada Inc. is offering to non-winners is a cash incentive towards the purchase of a fine Nissan automobile, but rumour has it that this cash incentive is only between $500-$1000 which is just about employee pricing and not really "special" at all.
One participant took an informal poll of other participants and came to the conclusion that most people felt anything below $5000 was an insult. Whether Nissan Canada Inc. believes it or not, people put a lot of time and effort - 4 months worth - into this contest, this wasn't just something "fun" you could do in your "spare time" as they claimed it was supposed to be, and most of these people feel that there is a monetary value associated with their efforts.
(See the actual offer on page 2 of this article.)
—Nick Krewen, Toronto Star
KevRichard’s blog post hit the nail on the head. Word of mouth is what is going to make this a campaign a success or failure. The problem is that Nissan Canada Inc. and Capital C made the wrong decisions to make this campaign a success. They broke the first rule of advertising. They seem to have paid no attention to who their audience is. If they’re going to sell a car through social media channels they need to understand who they are selling to.
First thing, the internet moves faster than real life having a contest that lasts 4 months is just stupid, especially when there’s a month at the end when everyone is just waiting around. This is the internet. We get bored with text that is over 140 characters or videos that are over 3 minutes long. They lost the momentum and everyone got bored and went to look at pr0n instead. By the time the Hypercube events happened, half the people that had been emotionally invested in the contest had completely lost interest in it.
I’m not sure who REALLY chose the winners, but Capital C insisted that Nissan Canada Inc. had the final word and if that’s the case, I’d bet that Capital C wants to punch them in the face for taking a retarded idea and making it even worse. Nissan Canada Inc. should have thought about this. Prior to the winners being announced, everyone who had any brand loyalty to the Cube had heard about it via the internet. In fact, all the people who voted on the canvases made an investment in this brand. They thought they had a voice in this contest. They thought they could make a difference. When Nissan Canada Inc. completely discounted contestants with many votes and rewarded contestants who received very few votes, they basically alienated all those voters and turned them against the brand. They successfully brought a few hundred voters into the Cube lovers club, but sent a few thousand into the Cube haters club.
Another thing Nissan Canada Inc. may have wanted to pay attention to when picking winners was how they will promote the brand on CubeCommunity.ca. We’ve already established that they’ve successfully cut off a bunch of positive traffic to the site, but what are the people who visit that are interested going to see when they get there? They’ve chosen a number of winners who have little to no communication skills and they’re asking them to blog.
There has also been special attention paid to creative professionals rather than creative persons in the winner’s circle. I’d bet Nissan Canada Inc’s plan was that these people would drive their Cubes to work and show them off to all their friends who are also in the coveted “creative class” but why the FUCK would Nissan Canada Inc. have a contest online if their strategy is to simply show the car to people in the end? Any idiot can drive one over to the local mall and show it off to get the same result. Since this was a social media campaign, maybe they should have chosen people who can successfully navigate social media. Maybe choose some people who can elicit traffic on their own and bring it to CubeCommunity.ca. Maybe choose people with a talent for turd-polishing. Choosing some winners who had next to no Twitter participation, no blogging, no YouTubing is basically throwing away the entire intended target market.
Last but in no way least, when Nissan Canada Inc. chose judges like Greig Nori and Leanne Polosi who surprisingly voted for their friends, business associates and lovers to win, they REALLY dropped the ball. They somehow thought that the failures wouldn't BAWWWWW at losing. That’s the thing about asking idiots to participate in an online contest, then snubbing them for a misguided idea of who Nissan Canada Inc. wants representing their car: they get butthurt when they get cheated. Nissan Canada Inc. and Capital C invited them in and didn’t even bother to understand who they were.
Congratulations Nissan and Capital C for launching a vehicle strictly via online media. By not knowing your target audience at all, alienating your pre-established audience and using unethical judges, you’ve wasted your fucking time and ended up on ED. Welcome to the internet Nissan Canada Inc., we hope you enjoy your stay. Oh and a little advice? Wear a helmet.
Because of the very large number of quotes involved, there will be two sub-pages of quotes. By following the links, you can access them.
Gallery of Butthurt and Brand Hatred
For further developments concerning this article and the drama involved, please see Hypercube Aftermath.
It would appear that some sort of small scale class war has erupted between the winners of the 50 Cubes and apparent leader of the loser Rebellion, Sunny Crittenden. Many of the winners are simply up in arms over this here ED article which ya'll do be readin', and are accusing her of writing said article.
However, she is quick to remind them that since ED is riddled with user-generated content, there's no telling who's to blame, meaning somewhere there's an uncreative Canadian masturbating inside his or her Cube, plotting some new form of revenge...
- CubeCommunity.ca aka Candy-coated, chocolate covered, deep fried Trollbait with sprinkles on top
- Competition Bureau Canada
- Hypercube Rules & Regulations
- Word Of Mouth Marketing Association Ethical Blogger Contact Guidelines
- Nissan Canada Inc.'s official press release
- Is It Social media If You're Being Antisocial?
- Wired: Nissan Tries Social Media With a Canadian Accent
- Calgary is Hypercubed
- Hypercube Post-Mortem
- Thinking outside the box wins a Cube
- Hypercube Adventure
- Nissan cube and the car I...
- FiveByThree's Hypercube Canvas
- FiveByThree's Canvas Deconstructed
- Nissan Cube Ambassadors on Facebook
- IHearttheCube.com, a site by Telma Costa
- Trick of Disaster on MySpace
- Trick of Disaster
- Hip To Be Nissan Cube
- Nissan Cube winners find it's hip to be square
- Leanne Pelosi Bio
- MGT Spreads the Shred
- Hump Day With Leanne Pelosi
- Vote For Anthony!
- Another Leanne Pelosi/Robin Van Gyn connection
- Q: Who is your favourite person to travel with? A: Jeff, my boyfriend.
- "I joined jeff and brendan keenan, leanne Pelosi, Natasza Zurek, and Hana Beaman on a pre christmas powder mission."
- "I produced Runway Films with Jeff Keenan..."
- Cube Man bombing on Ebaum's
- Nissan thinking outside of the Cube (lulzy as 9/10 comments are negative)
- Thread on TribeMagazine.com discussing the contest and this article.
- Urbandictionary.com's top definition of Hypercube is just marketing copy. Feel free to correct.
- Dirtbar Mark is featured in his local newspaper.
- A conversation on a Cube enthusiasts forum to watch.
- Box on wheels is so bad on the highway that it deserves to be blasted to oblivion
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