Nissan’s promotional partnership with the newest Star Wars film, Rogue One, may have been somewhat unexpected, but ended up being a wild success for the car company.
The partnership was announced in August and began with a stroke of luck on Nissan’s part: the auto company’s top-selling U.S. model, the Rogue compact crossover, was slated for a makeover around the same time as the film’s release date. With both projects aimed at the family audience, it was only a matter of time before they connected.
Nissan North America marketing chief Jeremy Tucker said that the initial Rogue connection is what “opened the door” to a great partnership, but actually using the opportunity to sell vehicles required more heavy lifting.
The dealers in particular were the heavy lifters in this promotion. Their aim was to use the partnership in an effort to market the Rogue’s improved safety features. Nissan created a team of six individual dealers from its marketing subcommittee to help make that happen. The members of this team, deemed the Dealer 6, were involved in every step of the campaign to ensure its success.
Tucker said that the level of dealer engagement was nothing short of amazing. “I’ve never seen dealer engagement like this,” he said in an interview with Automotive News.
But the promotion didn’t stop at the technical side. You can purchase a car carpet to fit just about any model out there, even dating back to the mid-1940s, but you might have a harder time finding carpets to fit an X-Wing fighter.
Nissan dressed up one of its new Rogue SUVs like it was Halloween, going all out with jets, short wings, and even a functioning R2 droid to make it look like one of the fighter jets from the Star Wars series for the Rogue One premiere.
In addition, there was a full-size mockup of an X-Wing fighter on the red carpet. Current Star Wars actors and even a few alumni of the original productions stopped by to pose with the X-Wing.
Tucker explained that as soon as he heard the title of the newest Star Wars film, he knew there was a huge opportunity for Nissan. After a phone call with Disney, he said the whole team rallied behind the idea, which has been a huge success.
“People are showing up in costume when they buy [the SUV],” he said.
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