Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is inching toward theaters and while the franchise already comes with a dedicated fan base spanning multiple generations and continents, Disney’s marketing machine—like The Force—surrounds all of us. From action-packed trailers to movie theater hashtags and virtual reality, the world is ready to return to a galaxy far, far away thanks to some intuitive campaigns.

Just a year after the release of The Force Awakens—and the galaxy-sized marketing that came with it—is the world ready for more? Is it possible to have too much Star Wars? While some die-hard fans would raise their light sabers and exclaim “never!,” Disney didn’t want to take any chances.

“The key is to not talk about Star Wars 365 days a year—we’re sensitive to that being the wrong strategy,” Disney’s UK CMO Anna Hill told Marketing Week. “We’ve been very careful to only really begin major marketing activity eight weeks or so before the launch of Rogue One. A big part of our approach is to let fans spread word-of-mouth buzz.”

It certainly worked, and Twitter named #StarWars as the top trending movie hashtag of 2016 thanks to The Force Awakens‘ late-December 2015 release and building anticipation for Rogue One leading up to the present day.


Twitter itself had a hand in marketing the film through a partnership with Disney and People magazine to livestream a special Star Wars event that included never-before-seen content from the upcoming film along with a Q&A with the director and cast members. Through January 5, theatergoers can experience the marriage of social media and cinema in the lobbies of 57 movie houses across the US. The campaign includes a sponsored Twitter emoji and hashtags such as #RogueOne, #DeathStar, #StarWars and #StarWarsRogueOne that patrons will see on digital displays.

If you’re hailing an Uber to the theater (or anywhere else for that matter), users will be able to unlock special Rogue One features and access exclusive video content including behind-the-scenes footage in the Uber app. The promotion will run through December 18 in hundreds of cities worldwide. In addition, the vehicle will appear on the map as one of many iconic Star Wars vehicles such as a rebel X-wing Starfighter.

When Nissan debuted its Rogue: Star Wars Edition TV campaign last month, traffic to Nissan’s website spiked 300 percent and the company experienced record sales of 24,682 units (up 19 percent month-over-month) and a share record of 10.6 percent to boot. While the SUV and film share a common name, the vehicle manufacturer saw an opportunity to tell a story with a limited edition vehicle. “There is a strong correlation between the both of us with epic adventures,” Jeremy Meadows, senior manager of marketing and creative strategy at Nissan, told [a]listdaily.

Jeremy Tucker, vice president of marketing communications and media, added that the Rogue model is their number one best-selling model and is up 10 percent year-over-year. “We want to make this model go to the very next level,” he said. “So bringing these iconic brands together, this is our moment, and we’re going full force.”

The car is limited to 5,400 models available in black or white in the US and Canadian market—each with Rebel Alliance or Empire decals and an exclusive Death Trooper replica helmet.

Nissan also introduced a virtual and augmented reality experience to consumers as well that highlights the Rogue SUV’s Intelligent Safety Shield technologies. Nissan dealerships nationwide have teamed with “Star Wars: Force for Change” to host a toy drive benefiting the Toys for Tots organization on December 17 and 18.


Nissan is one of five global brands—Duracell, General Mills, Gillette and Verizon are the others—to join forces with Lucasfilm and launch an extensive global promotional campaign in support of the movie. Duracell partnered with Disney and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals to tell the story of a group of child “rebels” who use their imaginations to deliver an R2-D2 toy to a girl in the burn ward. General Mills, meanwhile, partnered to give away movie tickets through specially-marked boxes of cereal.

Gillette’s “Every Story Has A Face” campaign features a Star Wars-themed commercial that focuses on the many people working together on a mission—from a smiling rebel finishing his shave to the stern look of a fellow, bearded soldier and the focused gaze of a female fighter pilot.

Verizon unveiled its very own, Rogue One 360 Experience on its Facebook page that places users in the cockpit of a rebel fighter who finds more than he bargained for on a routine space mission. The branded adventure has been viewed over three million times.

With Rogue One starring the second female lead character in a row, Disney is making extra efforts to include women in its marketing efforts.

Target’s “There’s A Rebel in All of Us” ad features three females and one man, each relating how Star Wars makes them feel like they can accomplish anything. Unlike Rey from The Force Awakens, who was mysteriously absent from a number of toy lines, Jyn Erso is a prominent figure—action or otherwise—among merchandise this time around.

In fact, you’ll notice a lot of female figures in Star Wars campaigns this year, including this heart-warming ad by Globe that promotes donations to the Phillippine General Hospital Medical Foundation.

“We want to continue to build on the female audience but the multi-generational piece is also a focus,” said Anna Hill. “If we can get more families to watch the film together then that’s great.”

Measuring digital content engagement across 600,000 digital outlets, marketing tech company, Amobee found that LEGO was the brand most associated with Rogue One between September 13 and December 13. Out the top 10, the brands most associated with Rogue One between September 13 and December 13 are Uber, Hasbro, Nerf, Verizon, Gillette, SoftBank, Hot Topic and O2.