The popular sequel in the movie franchise made many bold predictions on how life would look in future of 2015. Unfortunately hoverboards are not yet commonplace and flying cars are still some way away. However, this week of celebration has thrown up some unique marketing opportunities for companies featured in the movie.
On Wednesday Pepsi will be releasing the “Pepsi Perfect” soda drunk by the time traveller Marty in the second instalment of the films franchise. The unique Pepsi bottle designed to look exactly like the one ordered in the futuristic Hill Valley cafe. The marketing director for PepsiCo, Lou Arbetter said, "Pepsi fans asked and we heard them loud and clear, the 'Back to the Future' trilogy was as big a moment in pop culture history then as it is now, 30 years later."
One of the biggest stars of the movie was unquestionably the futuristic Nike self-lacing sneakers. These were worn by Marty as he tried to blend in with the ultramodern hi-tech dress code of 2015. Nike confirmed that they would finally be producing the famous “power laces” with patents filed for the technology back in 2008. Tinker Hatfield who designed the original sneakers for the movie confirmed that the shoes would be available to purchase by the end of the year.
In a famous scene of ‘Back to the Future II’, Marty McFly is swallowed by a gigantic holographic image of the shark Jaws. This was to promote the movie ‘Jaws 19’ and celebrate the future of 3D films which are now commonplace. Earlier this week, Universal Studios Entertainment released a trailer for a fictitious ‘Jaws 19’ movie. While in reality no actual film will be made, I think this is fantastic marketing and a great way of connecting with fans of the franchise.
Although Toyota only played a very small part in the blockbuster movie they managed to find an interesting way to tie-in to the film’s anniversary. Backed by the creative of Droga5 and Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles, Toyota created an integrated marketing campaign centred on the Hydrogen Fuel Cell for its new car ‘The Mirai’. This played off the Mr Fusion generator from the movie that allows the DeLorean time machine to generate the 1.21 gigawats to travel through the space-time continuum.
To build excitement for the new car launch Toyota reunited the film’s actors, Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd, for a short video hyping the car’s upcoming release. This was supported by a launch event in California where influential car reviewers and bloggers were invited using special 80’s style wristwatches. For many weeks Toyota has been releasing subtle teasers on its microsite, slowly revealing their tie-in to the BTTF franchise.
As a huge fan of the ‘Back to the Future’ films, it has been great to see so much creative marketing around a 30 year old movie. I only hope for more surprises as we near the anniversary date, even if it’s not a Mattel hoverboard.
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School