The future is here! The future is now! And annoyingly Hoverboards aren’t common place and there aren’t flying cars about. And personally devastating, the Cubs will not be winning the World Series in 2015 (Let’s hope for 2016). However, putting aside predictions of what our current world would look like, Back to the Future established a legacy that spanned thirty years to… well you guessed it, the future! With an epic entrance form Doc and Marty – Jimmy Kimmel Live sought to recap on what our future has and what it most certainly doesn’t. (Look out for the Biff/Donald Trump dig)
Movies themselves can evolve into sustainable brands and in particular, franchises survive and thrive on their brand identity. 007, one of the most iconic film brands, has survived half century by building the Bond brand that has seen several reincarnations while maintaining the essence of the super spy’s brand. (Our own Greg Watts has some thoughts on this – What’s Next for James Bond)
Star Wars already established as a brand, will have a new lease of life and new generation of fans with Disney at the helm and continue as one of the most profitable content brands in the world.
So despite, bigger and more iconic film brands, we chose Back to the Future. It has seemingly developed into a lasting brand by accident because it foretold of a future we all waited for and wanted to experience. It was a future within our grasp, it was tangible. It could happen, which made it more exciting and relevant. Whether by default or by design, the iconic dates became a marker for the future that held out attention.
Navada’s focus is to build brands with good storytelling, so it’s fitting that a brand created by master storytellers Steven Spielberg, Robert Zemekis and company was our brand of the week. It’s also a fitting celebration of this week’s Back to the Future hype and obligatory hashtag #backtothefutureday.
It was also a marketing opportunity that many major brands tapped into and waited to utilize.
The buzz started a few years ago when the panic of whether Hoverboards would be invented in time for the date.
While the rest of us panicked, the Back to the Future brands waited patiently for the future. The franchise was riddled with brand placement from Pepsi, Texaco, Mattel (still annoyed at the lack of Hoverboards) and many more. Of course, this was a massive opportunity for Nike one of the more iconic brands from the franchise with their self-lacing shoes.
We all hoped and waited that Nike would bring them out and to our relief, they did and in a very cool way. Nike featured as our brand of the week a while back (Nike – Navada’s Brand of the Week) because they did something cool for a kid with a disability. Well they did it again for Back to the Future. The very first pair of self lacing shoes was given to Michael J Fox as a precursor to production in 2016 for auction. And in a cool move, profits will go to support the Michael J Fox Foundation to support Parkinson’s research. (Find out more at – https://www.michaeljfox.org)
Fox was on Jimmy Kimmel to show of the new shoes and it was pretty awesome.
Other brands jumped on the ‘future’ bandwagon with Toyota (also featured in the franchise – did something that was actually futuristic). With a bit of hype and few videos combined with new technology Toyota made good on the future – with the exception of the flying cars. They’re Fueled By the Future series gave a little extra on the lovable duo of Doc and Marty.
So this week our brand of the week is Back to the Future. We made it here to the future and got to enjoy a bit of nostalgia. We got to see if what was predicted decades ago came true. Some did (video conferencing, self-lacing shoes and 3D tv and more) and some disappointingly didn’t (flying cars, Hoverboards and the Cubs winning the world series).
We love the craft of storytelling. It really does beckons the imagination to amazing things. Great storytelling created a great brand. A great brand led other brands to innovate and tell their own stories. Our hopes for the future can spur us on to create the inventions of tomorrow. Imagining it in a story can sometimes lead to the real thing. Maybe, just maybe our stories will help create the future we imagine.
It’s fitting to leave with a reflection from Michale J Fox for the White House (which can be read on the White House website) on #backtothefutureday of the future he is trying to write.
We’ve come a long way since 1985.
When Marty McFly and Doc Brown traveled 30 years into the future, we could only imagine the innovations we take for granted today — new ideas and technologies that have completely changed the way we live, learn, and work.
Back then, if you’d have told me that I’d go from talking on a cell phone to talking cell biology, I would never have believed you. But today, The Michael J. Fox Foundation is helping to spearhead research collaborations to speed a future in which we can treat, cure, and even prevent brain diseases like Parkinson’s.
So what’s possible in another 30 years? Call me an optimist, but I believe that by 2045 we’ll find the cures we seek — especially because of all the smart, passionate people working to make it happen. Doctors and researchers around the world are developing new tools to improve the diagnosis and treatment of brain diseases, to tailor treatments — for all illnesses — through precision medicine, and to make life better for millions of people. This truly is the stuff of the future.
Today, on “Back to the Future Day,” I challenge you to imagine the world you want to live in thirty years from now. The White House is hosting a series of online conversations with innovators across the country all day long. Check it out and add your voice here.
We can’t all be brain scientists, but all of us can get involved. One reason Parkinson’s research has come so far in the past 15 years is that people and families living with the disease have stepped up as advocates and innovators themselves, working to build the future we all want.
Together, we’ll make neurological illness a thing of the past.
And if we all eventually get hoverboards, well — that’s a bonus.
–Michael J. Fox
Contact us to see if we can help your brand storytelling create the future.