21.10.2015 Brands to the Future: How companies have jumped on the #backtothefuture bandwagon (or DeLorean)

As you are probably already aware, thanks to saturation media coverage and social media overload, today is ‘Back to the Future Day’.

For the less geeky, Wednesday October 21 2015 is the date Marty McFly and Doc Brown travelled to their ‘future’ in the 1989 time travel movie sequel Back to the Future Part II.

Thanks to the film trilogy’s enduring appeal, what would otherwise be a date remembered only by film buffs and trivia fans is being marked across the world.

Much of today’s media coverage has focused on how similar or otherwise ‘our’ future tech has turned out to be compared to the movie version of 2015; correct ‘predictions’ include drones, wearable tech and 3D movies, while we are still eagerly waiting for hoverboards, hovercars and pizza hydrators to make an appearance (hoverboards that need electro-magnet technology to work don’t count).

But perhaps the most interesting aspect of the day is how brands are taking advantage of the wave of Back to the Future nostalgia.

Thanks to the filmmakers’ eagerness to use brands to bring a certain ‘reality’ to their movies, the Back to the Future trilogy, and especially Part II, is chock full of well-known brands, including Nike (and their self-lacing shoes), Mattel (hoverboards) and Pepsi.

Some of those brands are cleverly marking Back to the Future Day with products related to those that appeared in the film.

Nike was the first off the mark, actually taking out a patent on self-lacing technology back in 2009 and then releasing a limited edition pair of its Nike Air MAG shoes in 2011, which raised millions for Michael J Fox’s parkinson’s research foundation.

Then at the start of this year Nike teased fans by promising to launch its Air Mag shoes with Power Lace technology this year, though these have yet to make an appearance.

Pepsi has gone one further by producing limited edition bottles of ‘Pepsi Perfect’, the beverage Marty drinks in the Café 80s in 2015, on sale for $20.15 (get it?).

However, with just 6,500 bottles available only to consumers in the US, the drink quickly sold out, causing uproar on social media.


pepsi back to the future


Pepsi even changed its Twitter logo to the movie’s fictional 2015 version for the day.

Back to the Future’s enormous and passionate fanbase has ensured that decades after their release the films are not just remembered but cherished and celebrated.

That brands have capitalised on that to boost their own appeal is a savvy move.

Product PR aside, a number of brands have managed to “own the moment” on social today, with some well-timed and creative social media content that has captured imaginations.

 We’ve blogged previously about how brands can both own (and kill!) the moment on social media. Today has seen some great examples of both:


The Football League:

The Football League Back to the future

The Football League’s look at which football clubs had moved up the most places in the table over the 30 years between 1985 and 2015 used the central theme of the trilogy to compile some interesting statistics, which went down well with sports fans.


 North Ayrshire Police:

North Ayrshire BTTF

The Scottish force’s early morning tongue-in-cheek tweet about a DeLorean narrowly missing hover boards in an “incident” in Irvine, using the #bttf2015 hashtag, was well received.




Pensions BTTF

The Department for Work and Pensions press office used the #backtothefuture hashtag to push its workplace pensions #dontignoreit campaign, to much derision on Twitter.

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Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 16.50.44

 If you’ve spotted any great #backtothefuture moments on social media today, tweet us @brightercomms. We’d love to hear from you.