FCA, Disney Join Forces on 'Star Wars' Cross-Promotion

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CARS.COM — A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, the coolest vehicles went by names like X-Wing, TIE Fighter and the Millennium Falcon (aka “the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs”). In the cobranded universe depicted in a new advertising campaign, the rides of choice are the Fiat 500 Abarth, Chrysler 300 and Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat (aka the muscle car that goes from zero-to-60 mph in less than 4 seconds).

Related: The 10 Best Christmas Car Gifts for ‘Star Wars’ Geeks

In conjunction with the run-up to the Dec. 18 release of the surefire global blockbuster, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has joined marketing forces with Disney for a Star Destroyer-sized cross-promotional effort. The FCA/Disney solar (or is it seller?) system revolves around seven 30-second video spots placing FCA vehicles in the “Star Wars” universe, and vice versa, set to John Williams’ iconic movie score and featuring the familiar visual-effects aesthetic of the beloved sci-fi/fantasy film series.

The spots will be airing across the U.S. on primetime TV, during NFL and college football and elsewhere. The promotional partnership kicked off earlier this year in New York with free Uber rides in a Stormtrooper-wrapped Dodge Charger, and the appearance of a custom-painted Fiat 500e Stormtrooper at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show in November. FCA also featured its brands this year in advertising for “Furious 7” and “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2.”

Five of this latest campaign’s seven videos can be viewed now on YouTube, each focusing on a different brand. One of the cleverer ones, for Chrysler, follows a young man through major milestones in his life, starting with his first time watching “Star Wars” in the movie theater in 1977. The story then flashes forward to him as a teenager meeting his first love in the hallway in school, then later marrying her and driving away in a Chrysler 200, followed by the couple driving their first child home from the hospital in a Town & Country. The saga’s circle is completed as the now-middle-aged dad takes his own young son to see “The Force Awakens” — pulling up to the theater in a Chrysler 300. The spot culminates with the tagline, “Few things feel like the first time you saw ‘Star Wars.’ “

Watch the videos on YouTube by following the links below:

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Former Assistant Managing Editor-News Matt Schmitz is a veteran Chicago journalist indulging his curiosity for all things auto while helping to inform car shoppers. Email Matt Schmitz

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