A mystery about a giant Amazon package has popped up in social media, and it has even Jerry Seinfeld buzzing.
Yesterday, Reddit user Listrophy posted this image on Imgur, the image-sharing site, with the title "What's the largest item you can have shipped from Amazon? Because I think my neighbor just got it."
On Twitter, Jen Ayres, social media editor and producer at WISCTV, the CBS affiliate station in Madison, Wisc., posted this query with an image of the package (on a different, nearby Madison street) submitted to her by a viewer:
Sleuths on Reddit quickly tracked down a report from Automotive News -- a sibling of Ad Age also published by Crain Communications -- from last fall referencing a promotion in which three Nissan Versa Note buyers were slated to "receive their cars packaged in giant Amazon.com boxes, with video crews on hand to film the deliveries." (Vinay Shahani, Nissan's then-director of marketing communications and media, was quoted in the piece as saying, "We're trying some new ideas. It's an experiment. It's a way to dip our toes into the idea of co-branding to build a buzz." I tried to reach Shahani for further comment, but it turns out that he left Nissan in November; he's now VP-marketing at Volkswagen of America. I'll update this post when I hear back from someone else at Nissan.) [UPDATE: See below.]
Some Reddit wags speculated that the box probably just contained, say, a three-foot USB cable and a ton of packing peanuts, given their past experiences with Amazon deliveries.
Meanwhile, Jerry Seinfeld held an extended AMA -- Ask Me Anything -- Q&A session on Reddit yesterday afternoon (BTW, if you're a "Seinfeld" fan, it's a must-read, because he served up a lot of great details about the creative history of the show). At one point he mentioned a new project he's working on with his "Seinfeld" co-creator Larry David: "We wrote this script for this thing that you will eventually see but I can't reveal what it is at this time. All I can do is tell you is that it's big, huge, gigantic. Even bigger than that Amazon package."
In a separate post, Seinfeld speculated that the Amazon box was some sort of hoax, saying "this is almost as fake as the Amazon Drone delivery system. But WOW if it was real!... There's no way it would say Amazon just once on that box."
I've called and emailed Amazon PR and haven't heard back. WISCTV's Ayres tells me that she's also had no luck getting an answer out of Amazon after four calls and two emails. She's also reached out to Madison's police department "to see if they took any calls on it… An unattended package like that in a bigger city would get a police call."
She adds, "We went back to check to see if the giant box was still around today, and can't find it."
Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.