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Nissan promotes new car model via multichannel mobile effort

Carmaker Nissan has launched a campaign that uses the mobile Web, an iPhone app and SMS text messages to promote its new Cube car model.

The first aspect of the promotion incorporates mobile into Nissan's traditional marketing mix, which includes television, print, direct mail and interactive advertising. Ads encourage consumers to text in to get access to the Cube Mobile Hub, which has unique content such as wallpapers, videos, music, ringtones and a link to Nissan's mobile site. The hub can be viewed at

"Nissan is offering customers a new type of experience on their mobile devices, incorporating music, photos and video," said Jason Taylor, vice president of mobile at Usablenet, New York. "This is a shift in the way auto companies are marketing cars.

"It speaks to Nissan's digital, mobile consumers," he said.

Usablenet is a fully managed service that leverages the features and functionality of a company's existing Web site and extends it to all mobile devices worldwide in less than six weeks, requiring no client IT or Web-design resources.

Usablenet powers Nissan's main site, where customers can research information on the new Cube, read product reviews, locate local Nissan dealers and order custom Cube t-shirts.

The 2009 Nissan Cube is designed to meet the practical needs of today's active, environmentally aware drivers, providing a small footprint with a large interior space.

The front-wheel drive Cube is built on Nissan's proven B-platform and is available with a standard 1.8-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine and a choice of Nissan's advanced, smooth shifting Xtronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) or 6-speed manual transmission.

Access to the Cube Mobile Hub became available May 15.

The iPhone app, "Cube Party Roundup," is scheduled to go live on June 15 and will be available for play in single-player and multi-player modes for up to eight friends.

The mission-based driving app sends the player around a city picking up friends, ice, music and other items before a party.

Additional levels allow the player to pick up dates, go to concerts and other activities, all the while navigating around various obstacles to complete the mission.

A Facebook version of "Cube Party Roundup," where users will be able to share their progress with friends, will go live in early July.

Usablenet powers Nissan's main site, where customers can research information on the new cube, read product reviews, locate local Nissan dealers and order custom Cube t-shirts.

According to Usablenet this campaign marks a shift in how car companies are marketing their cars, targeting the digital and mobile generation.

Nissan first went mobile in March, providing customers with the ability to view car information while on the go.

The carmaker teamed up with Usablenet then as well to create its mobile site that lets customers view car information and image galleries, request quotes and locate dealers through any Web-enabled mobile device.

This isn't the first time that Usablenet has partnered with a carmaker.

Kia Motors America launched a mobile Web site in November to introduce the new Kia Soul at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

David & Goliath and Usablenet launched Kia Soul Mobile to increase mobile interaction around the new Kia Soul.

"Usablenet offered Nissan a quick and easy way to deploy this unique Mobile Hub to anyone that uses the mobile Web, anywhere in the world," Mr. Talor said.