By Greg Voakes
On March 21st, automaker Nissan unveiled their Charity Game Facebook App, an extension of their six-year partnership with Habitat for Humanity. The App, which lives on Nissan’s Facebook page, tackles the serious issue of providing Americans with affordable housing by entertaining you and sucking you in for prolonged periods of time.
Upon launching the App, you can choose between helping a female volunteer in a living room setting, or a male volunteer in a kitchen setting. After you have make a selection, you are shown a house under construction and a real-life Nissan volunteer walks into the frame.
The volunteer stands at attention, ready to perform the commands you submit. You aren’t always guaranteed results — sometimes the volunteer will stare back at you, questioning your sanity, and you are forced to start over and issue a new command.
But, on the flipside, if you ask the male volunteer to break the pipe, he gets a baseball bat, and proceeds to beat the crap out of the poor pipe. There are hundreds of commands beyond that, some that require hard work on the part of the volunteer, and others that leave you chuckling. Regardless of the volunteer’s reaction and the user’s amusement, every command that the volunteer successfully performs lands you points in one of three levels; easy, medium or advanced.
Once you have exhausted all of your options and you have run out of commands, you can enter your set of answers, and if you’re really good, you will ideally make it to the top 100 scorers. Internet rankings and bragging rights aside, making it to the top 100 will actually resonate in reality. Each of the top 100 will receive a personalized video from Nissan, live from an actual Habitat for Humanity build site in Tennessee that will take place on April 20th. The names of all 100 winners will be announced as volunteers pound a nail in their name into the structure. Winners will also get a Nissan t-shirt.
Taken directly from the App’s landing page: “This is our way to involve you with a live Habitat for Humanity build even if you can’t physically be there. Your digital efforts will deliver real support and love for a family in need.”
The concept is clearly building on a similar (and wildly successful) campaign from Burger King.
After the tragic hurricane season in 2005, Nissan began their relationship with Habitat for Humanity. To date, Nissan’s contributions have surpassed $7.5 million in grant money and donations, they have also donated 104 vehicles, and sponsored the building of 50 homes. Many of the company’s 5,000 employees have volunteered their time with Habitat for Humanity.