Nissan Returns As A Promotional Partner Of Star Wars
It needs to up its game if it wants people to care about its Star Wars involvementby Kirby Garlitos, on
In case you haven’t heard, or you’re just spending far too much time running away from wampas in Hoth to care, Nissan and Star Wars have been partners-in-crime for some time now. The two companies came together last year to promote Star Wars: A Rogue One Story, so it comes as no shock that the Japanese automaker is back as a promotional partner to the mega movie franchise ahead of its highly anticipated movie, Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Nissan is one of six major brands tabbed by Lucasfilm to be part of an extensive global promotional campaign supporting The Last Jedi. The other five companies include Christian Louboutin, General Mills, Royal Philips, Verizon, and VIZIO. It’s a diverse group that includes a high-end fashion designer (Louboutin), a consumer food giant (General Mills), and a telecommunications network (Verizon). Nissan fits in there somehow, largely because the company has been a promotional partner for the giant movie franchise, most recently last year ahead of the release of Rogue One. For those who’ve forgotten, Nissan actually piggy-backed its Rogue SUV off of the movie’s title, resulting in the creation of the Nissan Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition that was unveiled at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. It wasn’t much of a special edition, at least not to our expectations, but it did come heavy on cosmetic Star Wars references. Only time will tell if Nissan can improve upon its ho-hum Rogue One offering with something a lot more interesting. Don’t expect a special edition GT-R, though. Godzilla isn’t mainstream enough to warrant consideration. On the other hand, the updated Nissan 370Z was just released a month ago…
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Nissan should have something better in store for us
I don’t want to be a party-pooper when it comes to Nissan’s work as a promotional partner of the Star Wars films, but I don’t think I was the only one who was a bit underwhelmed with how it presented the Nissan Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. I thought the automaker didn’t do as good a job as it probably should have given that it had a golden opportunity to hit one out of the park given the identical names of its SUV and the movie’s title. It was there for the taking but Nissan decided on a more conservative approach with its limited-edition SUV, resulting, at least in my opinion, in a missed opportunity.
The Japanese automaker is back as a promotional partner to the mega movie franchise ahead of its highly anticipated movie, Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Let’s revisit it for a quick second. The Rogue One Star Wars Edition did feature plenty of Star Wars-related nods, including the Rogue One badging on the front doors, the logo decals of the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire on the D-pillar, and the Star Wars logo clear rear bumper protector. Inside, Nissan once again used the Rebel Alliance and Galactic Empire logos on the cupholders, but other than that, it really was just a standard Rogue SUV that received two exterior colors (Magnetic Black and Glacier White) and a smattering of options and packages that customers can get with any other variant of the Rogue. Worse, the “limited” nature of the SUV really wasn’t limited at all as Nissan actually made 5,400 units of the SUV available to customers in North America.
Note: photo of the Nissan Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition
To be fair, that’s actually the only issue I had with Nissan’s involvement in last year’s blockbuster movie. A lot of the other things it did to promote Rogue One were of top-shelf quality. Its stand at the Chicago Auto Show, for example, not only featured a different take on the Rogue SUV: an X-wing-inspired version that would have actually made for a more appealing special edition model. Not only that, Nissan also dressed up its booth in full Star Wars regalia, including a massive inflatable Death Star that hung from the rafters and scale-replica models of the Y-Wing Starfighter, TIE Striker, AT-ACT, and X-Wing Starfighter. It even had Stormtroopers present for the show, though it wasn’t clear from Nissan if those troopers were actually clones. Still, it was a lavish presentation, featuring an incredible X-wing-styled Rogue SUV that slammed home the point of Nissan’s partnership with the mega movie franchise.
Note: photo of the Nissan Rogue X-Wing
Expectations are high for Nissan to do better this time around, and I’m optimistic that it’s going to do just that. Unlike Rogue One, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is part of the main story of Star Wars so there should be more opportunities to mine promotional material that will appeal to the massive fan base of the franchise. Do I expect another special edition model? Yes, I do. And if my suggestion can be heard, I think Nissan should be more aggressive this time around in showcasing its affiliation with Star Wars. Badges and logos work in so much as they’re easily recognized. But if Nissan really wants to elevate this partnership to the next level, it’s going to have to come up with a different approach on how to best promote the biggest movie of the year.
I’m optimistic that it’s capable of doing it, and I’m sure that it already has a few things lined up ahead of the movie’s release in December.
Read our full review on the Nissan Rogue.
Read our full review on the Nissan Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition