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Nissan teases San Francisco with mystery giveaways

Nissan and Amazon on Thursday placed a giant Amazon locker in Justin Herman Plaza, a heavily trafficked pedestrian mall in the Embarcadero area of San Francisco. Inside: A new Rogue crossover. Photo credit: NISSAN

Nissan Motor Co., without telling passers-by what they might win, is using an oversized Amazon locker and social media to give away a free Rogue as part of a promotion today in downtown San Francisco.

The one-day advertising stunt is the latest in a string of low-impact, media-buzz builders Nissan has staged with

In recent months, Nissan has arranged for home delivery of Versa sedans and Rogues in giant Amazon delivery boxes on the backs of flatbed trucks.

As with today’s mini campaign, the idea is simply to generate online buzz about Nissan and its product line, says Erich Marx, Nissan’s director of interactive and social media marketing.

“We wanted to create some excitement about the brand, following up on the success we had with the Amazon vehicle deliveries,” Marx said.

On Thursday, Nissan and Amazon placed an Amazon locker measuring 16 by 20 by 8 feet out in the open in Justin Herman Plaza, a heavily trafficked pedestrian mall in the Embarcadero area of San Francisco.

Amazon uses lockers in some large cities as secure purchase pick-up kiosks as an alternative to home delivery.

On Thursday night, a Nissan crew added the Nissan name to the locker, and passers-by were invited to take photos of themselves in front of the structure and tweet them to #GiantLocker.

This morning, Nissan planned to begin giving prizes to those who tweeted, including gift cards, video game consoles, Amazon Fire TV systems, Kindle Fire tablets and various other items that are stored in various compartments of the locker.

Amazon plans to distribute codes to select customers who tweet. The codes, assigned randomly, can then be used to open a locker and claim a prize.

The giveaway will culminate at 6 p.m. PST today with the gift of the redesigned Rogue crossover that is sitting inside the locker, Marx says.

But the pedestrians who participate in the Twitter photos are not being told that a free car will be given away, he says. The winning participant will find out only when he or she opens the locker door today.

You can reach Lindsay Chappell at

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