Inside Nissan & Star Wars: The Last Jedi Partnership


Table Of Contents


The Intergalactic Integration

From a galaxy (not so) far, far away comes one of seven custom show cars Nissan has made as a partnership with Lucasfilm for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and the team at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM). Hot off their successful partnership with the 2016 Nissan/Rogue One: A Star Wars Story campaign, the car brand set their sights on the Last Jedi and delivered looks that would rival any ship in the First Order's fleet.

Wondering just how this deal came to be and curious to get a peek behind the curtain? In this blog, Hollywood Branded discusses how the Last Jedi Partnership came togethr for Nissan and Star Wars.  

Star Wars & Nissan Promotion.png

The Force Is Strong With These Ones

Two years ago the limited edition Star Wars themed Nissan Rogue came with an exclusive collector-shelf worthy Death Trooper helmet. But this year ILM and Nissan wanted to capitalize on their massive success (and ambition) by building seven custom cars paying homage to prominent characters in the film.

All customized rides were on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show from Dec. 1st to the 10th at the L.A. Convention Center. But for those who missed their hyperspace exit Nissan unleashed a full digital blitz around the The Last Jedi — from in-dealer VR activations, to regional auto show events, a car giveaway (not so surprisingly), and tickets to the Last Jedi premiere.

The seven cars in the All-Star fleet included character themed cars for Kylo Ren, Poe Dameron (with everyone's favorite orange droid, BB-8). Included were also looks similar to Star Wars space ships like the Tie Fighter, A-Wing, and AT-M6. However, of the impressive line-up one stood out among the rest: the Captain Phasma Maxima.

Captain Phasma's New Nissan

The Maxima is a vehicular recreation of the villainous Captain Phasma, played by Game of Thrones Gwendoline Christie. Bringing the car to life took countless hours by Burbank's Vehicle Effects shop, best known for its handiwork on the Fast and the Furious series. The Phasma-themed Maxima boasts high-gloss silver armor, with front fascia handcrafted from aluminum to form the character’s iconic mask. One of the other striking details is the custom red accent line running the length of the car, matching the signature red and black cape worn by the Captain. 

The Maxima is a vehicular recreation of the villainous Captain Phasma
Courtesy of Nissan
The Phasma-themed Maxima boasts high-gloss silver armor
Courtesy of Nissan 

 matching the signature red and black cape worn by the Captain.          Courtesy of Nissan

How Nissan Capitalized On A Galaxy Far, Far Away

Much like when patrons took to seeing Rogue One in 2016, The Last Jedi fans were not met with flashing images of Nissan vehicles driving around the First Order's ships or Canto Bight, which again begs the question: why such an unlikely partnership? As with most integrations or product placements the brand appears in the film, but when dealing with the Sci-Fi world of Star Wars extra creativity is required. Which is what Nissan’s Jeremy Tucker went on to explain in an interview saying:

"Telling my own executives that we can’t put a Rogue in the Death Star was a hard part of the initial conversation, but once I explained clearly to my team that there was no product placement, that instead of putting our cars into the movie and having the characters driving the cars, we would play with the themes and mythologies from the films for the creative, they were all on board... We weren’t just going to do a logo slap and a product placement. Star Wars… has millions of fans and if you piss them off, you are done.”

And as we've seen with past promotions aligned with Star Wars, and written in our previous blog illustrating the How Brands Leverage Star Wars, if you appease the fans, the fans will pay.

Check out the a video of the Star Wars Nissan car here:

Want To Make Your Placements Out Of This World?

Not sure how to expand your own empire? Never tell us the odds! Check out our other blogs on Shortening The Time It Takes For Consumers To Recognize Your Brand, and 4 Common Myths About Product Placement Debunked.

And check out our own guide to creating product placement and promotional partnerships by clicking the image below!  If you get ready for it and start planning now, your brand could lock in an even bigger partnership than a one-day-only social tag!

Product Placement & Co-Promotions 101 Guide