Nissan Rogue has been vaulted into the galactic of Star Wars last year, and basked into the spectacle surrounding the fortuitously named Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Nissan dealers, many of whom outfitted their stores with Rogue One decorations as part of the automaker's marketing alignment with Walt Disney's Lucasfilm, loved the connection to the beloved franchise. There was even a movie-themed limited-edition Rogue.
But for the latest tie-in for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, dealers had a challenge for Nissan's marketing brass: How could they spread the fervor across the Nissan lineup? The answer was a theme inspired by the futuristic technologies in The Last Jedi. Last year, Nissan highlighted the Rogue's safety chops. This time, it's extending the safety focus to include the Altima and Titan with five ads touting Nissan's Intelligent Mobility systems. In the film, droids help pilots anticipate obstacles. Nissan says its mobility offerings do the same thing with emergency braking, blind-spot warning and ProPILOT Assist, which Nissan says "begins the journey towards autonomous driving."
Many Nissan stores across the country will again serve as outposts for the Star Wars craze. Tucker said Nissan created a system where dealers can place custom orders for as many movie-themed items as they want to deck out their stores. If a dealer wants to go all in and buy 50 First Order Stormtrooper cutouts, they can do that. To help build store traffic, Nissan is rolling out a virtual reality experience at select dealerships where people pretend to repair droids. "Star Wars: Droid Repair Bay" is a 10-minute virtual story connected to the film. The experience uses Samsung Gear and HTC Vive headsets. Stores using HTC Vive will have a virtual reality cube for participants to go into as they make their way through the story.
Tucker said visitors to the Connecticut International Auto Show, which opens this week, will get a chance to delve into this virtual world. There are more consumer perks on the list. Some dealerships, Tucker said, will organize screenings of the movie for customers when it releases, as they did for Rogue One. Star Wars has certainly been a winning franchise for Nissan. Nissan said it had a 95 percent participation rate in the Star Wars-related festivities last year. If any dealers pass on the chance to leverage Star Wars this year, shame on them, says Wayne Siegel, president of Legend Auto Group, which has a Nissan store in Syosset, N.Y., featuring cutouts of Star Wars characters. Siegel thinks the Star Wars tie-in has more legs than the Super Bowl.