Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.
Nissan Motor Co. is using the “One Piece” anime series to promote the Nov. 29 release of its new Serena minivan.
Nissan hopes the popularity of the animated pirate series, with more than 200 million copies in print, will keep sales of the Serena strong. The vehicle has been the best-selling minivan in Japan for three straight years, with total sales of more than 1 million units.
The campaign features the Thousand Serena, a One Piece-themed Serena minivan named for the Thousand Sunny pirate ship on which Luffy and other Straw Hat Pirates sail in the manga and anime series.
The minivan is adorned with designs from the Thousand Sunny ship, including its lion figurehead on the front hood, its foremast and Jolly Roger flag on the roof and the ship’s “soldier dock system” on both sides.
An animated TV commercial from Toei Animation Co. features the decorated vehicle in a fun and exuberant display.
The commercial can be seen on the new Serena website at (http://www.nissan.co.jp/SERENA/).
The Thousand Serena and new ad campaign were unveiled at a promo event held in late November at Fuji Television Network Inc.’s main building in Tokyo’s Odaiba district.
Appearing “in person” were the Luffy pirate character, along with TV announcer Mika Sugisaki.
The special-edition Thousand Serena vehicle was also on show at the temporary One Piece Museum set up at the broadcaster’s Odaiba site. It will be featured in promotional events across the country. Check the website for details.
Nissan said it is also planning another Serena promotional campaign aimed at families.
Copyright The Asahi Shimbun Company.