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Amazon leaves mysterious giant orange locker in downtown SF

Why is there a car-size storage locker in a San Francisco tourist area? It turns out the locker is part of a promotion with Nissan.

A giant Amazon locker sits in a plaza near San Francisco's historic Ferry Building. James Martin/CNET

Update, May 16 at 9:07 a.m. PT: Amazon has confirmed that the locker is a part of a promotion with Nissan. People can tweet the #giantlocker hashtag in exchange for an access code to the locker and collect prizes. One person will win the grand prize inside the locker -- a car. A film crew is on site today to shoot promotional videos. This is similar to a campaign where Nissan had their cars delivered in a giant Amazon shipping box.

Amazon may be shooting a music video on Friday centered around a huge, orange storage locker placed indiscreetly in a bustling plaza in San Francisco.

The large locker, first spotted by The Wall Street Journal, is similar to the lockers Amazon customers can use to pick up their online purchases. Located near the Ferry Building, a popular marketplace generally filled by both tourists and locals, the locker is sure to attract some stares. Named "Giant," the locker is not listed on Amazon's directory of lockers in San Francisco.

"Hello, my name is Giant.," it reads.

Why Amazon has put a locker in the plaza is a mystery. We've contacted the company and will update if we hear back. A spokeswoman for the city's parks and recreation department has confirmed that it has licensed the plaza for an event, but she wouldn't provide any other details. She referred CNET to Bad Company Films, which is holding the event. The company declined to comment but at one point it was a "music video production company." Its site features multiple music videos.

The appearance of "Giant," may mean Amazon is getting ready to promote a widespread rollout of its locker program.

A closeup of the Amazon locker placed near the Ferry Building in San Francisco. James Martin/CNET

Amazon started testing its locker service in 2012. It gives people who can't receive packages at home or at their office a chance to collect ordered items from a locker at their convenience. These lockers are placed in various locations, including 7-Elevens, and users can open them using a unique pin code. Each of the lockers has a different name, and they're accessible until late hours, or in some cases, 24 hours.

For a time, Amazon had partnered with competitors Staples and RadioShack to house some of these lockers. But both those companies pulled out of the test last year. Staples said it was because the lockers didn't meet expectations, while RadioShack simply said it was going in a different direction.