Nissan has gone Rogue.
The automaker is partnering with Lucasfilm in a promotional campaign supporting Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which hits theaters Dec. 16.
Duracell, General Mills, Gillette and Verizon also have signed on. Each of the five companies will “complement the tempo and tenor of the overall marketing campaign of this first-ever standalone Star Wars story,” according to a statement today announcing the deals.
The sponsorship would seem like a natural for Nissan, which has been enjoying strong U.S. sales of its Rogue compact crossover, its second-best nameplate behind the Altima so far this year. A Nissan spokeswoman confirmed the Rogue would be the centerpiece of the automaker’s Star Wars campaign. The Rogue’s U.S. sales surged 13.5 percent to 182,181 deliveries this year through July, which was third in the segment behind the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. It was Nissan’s top-selling U.S. nameplate in July.
“There are exciting synergies with the film and the Nissan Rogue, our top-selling vehicle in the U.S. and Canada,” Jeremy Tucker, Nissan’s vice of president of North American marketing, said in a statement. “We will announce more news this September on a number of highly-visible integration activities for Nissan and the upcoming film.”
Nissan isn’t the first automaker to align with a Star Wars movie.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles teamed with Lucasfilm last year for a global campaign around Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Dodge, Chrysler, Ram, Fiat and Jeep each had their own Star Wars-themed ads.
FCA leveraged its Stars Wars alignment to push its end-of-year sales event in a Tier 2 effort.
FCA marketing boss Olivier Francois told Automotive News during the Detroit auto show in January that the December ad push around Star Wars: The Force Awakens was perfect for a Tier 2 campaign.
Francois said Star Wars is “almost too big and too universal” to be tied to a single brand.
Last September, Dodge deployed eight Chargers wrapped in Stormtrooper decals to New York City for a Hot Wheels promotion with Uber on “Force Friday.” The Stormtrooper Chargers were inspired by the Hot Wheels Stormtrooper toy cruiser.
The collaboration with Hot Wheels and Uber wasn’t part of FCA’s promotional partnership with Lucasfilm.
Then, during the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, Fiat displayed a custom-painted 500e Stormtrooper, which the automaker says was inspired by the armor of the First Order Legion.
Francois said Star Wars is “a universal pop culture moment.”
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