Lucasfilm came through with its largest surprise two weeks before the Los Angeles show.
Tucker got a call from Lucasfilm on a Friday night asking if he'd like a life-size fan-built TIE fighter plane for the Nissan display. The fictional battle craft of the Galactic Empire was at Lucasfilm's London studio and ready to be shipped.
Tucker gladly accepted the offer, which he said was a case of Lucasfilm going above and beyond the contract. At Nissan's stand in L.A., where the special-edition Rogue was unveiled, the TIE fighter lorded over a display that also showcased Stormtrooper and rebel costumes, along with an augmented-reality kiosk that places people in a virtual battle test simulator with the Rogue.
But getting the promotional effort to connect with consumers began well before the show, with dealers involved at every step.
The dealers reviewed creative concepts, gave feedback on tag lines and met with Zimmerman Advertising and TBWA/Chiat/Day -- Nissan's ad agencies -- to go over media placement and other key promotional elements. The dealers championed the idea of showing the ads in movie theaters and helped Nissan devise a plan to give away Death Trooper key chains to consumers at stores.
Nissan took advantage of what the dealers were seeing to help shape the TV spots.
"Based upon their interaction with the consumer, especially when it came to safety, they were able to talk to us," Tucker said of the dealer input on ad topics. The dealers were saying, ""These are the things I'm selling against and I'm finding traction with the customers.' They helped to make sure we had the right features and benefits" in the ads.
The Dealer 6 even helped Nissan determine how many of the limited-edition models to build.
One of the Dealer 6, Wayne Siegel, described the Nissan collaboration as a "Kumbaya moment."
At one point, he said, Nissan presented the team with an array of promotional items to consider such as Stormtrooper cardboard cutouts for showrooms. But Siegel said the Dealer 6 didn't want stores to have to buy one big kit only to use a few of the pieces while others go to waste. So the dealers asked if Nissan could offer stores different kit levels to choose from. Nissan immediately agreed.
Siegel, a dealer principal at Legend Nissan in Syosset, N.Y., said the campaign's planning moved quickly.
"Think about what happened in a short period of time -- four, five, six months," Siegel told Automotive News. "We got a limited-edition car into production, we got all of these point-of-purchase kits going on, we've got dealer engagement, we had all the creative for the advertising to go on.
"Whatever the boxes were that needed to be checked, we checked all the boxes," he said.
Siegel said last week that he planned to attend the Hollywood premiere with his daughter. The Dealer 6 were "floored" by the invites, he said.
An important cog in the Rogue One campaign was communicating each step to the dealer network.
Tucker said the Dealer 6 ensured that stores weren't inundated with information. Instead of putting out a lengthy master plan around the promotion, the Dealer 6 influenced Nissan to send tidbits of information when appropriate.
The automaker sent tips each week letting stores know what the brand was doing on social media that week, or when to look out for the promotions on TV. Earlier this month, for instance, a Rogue was given away to a family on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."
"The dealer team pushed us and challenged us," Tucker said. "They helped us think about and define the brand."