Brands to the Future

Wisdom.Applied Wednesday: Brands to the Future

SPOILER ALERT! Because there are apparently people among us who have not seen the Back to the Future Trilogy. 

Since you’re Interneting right now, you must be aware that today is Back to the Future II Day.

Yes, today is the day the Doc Brown, Marty McFly and his girlfriend Jennifer Parker travel to from 1985 to prevent the downfall of the McFly family (really, I feel like Doc could also interfere so that Marty doesn’t get himself fired only hours after he saves his son from going to jail, but whatever… Marty later learns how to handle being called a chicken in 1885, applies that in 1985 when Flea, I mean Neadles, tries to drag race him so it’s conceivable that Marty McFly Jr. won’t even need to be rescued in today’s 2015… Did you follow that?)

At any rate, Back to the Future II fans, once the clock turns to October 22, 2015, the entire trilogy will be in the past.


What’s even heavier is the abundance of aspects the film predicted about 2015 that actually came true, from technology to sports (hey, it can STILL happen, Cubbies).

Perhaps what’s heaviest are the brands that are still dominating 30 years after the first film’s original release.

So for today’s Wisdom.Applied Wednesday, let’s take a look at some brands that had heavy Back to the Future II product placements.



It’s no secret the film’s protagonist, Marty, has an affinity for Nike (Ever notice 1985 Biff wears Adidas?!?). His 1985 kicks are Nike and he passed his love of the brand down to his son, who wears the now famous Nike Mags in 2015.

According to Forbes, Nike is the most valuable sports brand (the company is worth $19 billion). So it looks like Back to the Future II was on the money with this brand.

While power laces are not currently a thing, in 2011, Nike raised over $11 million for the The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research auctioning off Mag replicas. Universal Studios also released officially licensed Back to the Future II light up shoes. Although they don’t have the Nike name, fans still refer to them as the Nike Mags.

Editor’s note: Looks like there’s something official brewing at Nike, based on this Instagram post from The Michael J. Fox Foundation. The shoemaker will be auctioning off a limited number sometime in 2016 to benefit the Foundation.



Marty drank Pepsi in 1955, 1985 and 2015.

Also on the Forbes most valuable brands list, Pepsi is valued at $19 billion. Although soda consumption is on the decline, Pepsi is still a massive brand and makes its presence known in pop culture, featuring celebrities in ads and sponsoring the Super Bowl halftime shows. Pepsi Perfect and Pepsi Free might not be things, Pepsi certainly is.


USA Today

Even though the paper was in its infancy when the first Back to the Future premiered in 1985, USA Today is the widest circulated print newspaper in the United States. The print edition has a daily readership of about three million people, and the website sees almost 40 million unique visitors each month.

USA Today has gotten in on the Back to the Future Day fun, changing their logo to resemble the one featured in the film. Tomorrow, they will even release the newspaper issue from the movie (remember – Doc went further into the future off screen and grabbed the issue so they could see if Marty’s conversation with Griff would alter the future).

Calling all Back to the Future Trilogy fans: Does this look familiar? You can own one tomorrow — grab a USA TODAY newspaper on Thursday! And Happy Back To the Future Day.

Posted by USA TODAY on Wednesday, October 21, 2015



Standing at number 12 on Forbes list of most valuable brands, AT&T may be the most valuable brand in the in the trilogy, valued at $173 billion.

Of course, if you missed the telecommunications company’s placement in the film, don’t kick yourself. Marty walks past the AT&T phone booths while walking out of the alley and into the 2015 Hill Valley town square for the first time.



Each year, 7-Eleven makes over $300 million off of Slurpees and the world consumers over seven million gallons of the frozen, sugary beverage, so it’s a good call that it makes an appearance in the film.
Although it is another blink-and-you-miss-it product placement, the sister of the little girl who gave Marty her hover board was sipping on a Slurpee.

The Texaco service station was not only featured in 2015, but also in 1955 and 1985.

Although Texaco merged with Chevron in 2001, the Texaco brand is still alive and well. Together, Chevron and Texaco have a net worth of $253.706 billion (because its net worth includes Chevron, we can’t decisively say Texaco is the most valuable brand in the trilogy, but it may have made a bigger statement than AT&T).


Black & Decker

Another brand that has since merged since the film was released, Black & Decker is still relevant in today’s 2015, operating under the name Stanley Black & Decker.
Although the manufacturing company may not be producing any rehydrators, Stanley Black & Decker is a Fortune 500 company, and in 2012, it brought in $10 billion in revenue.
So there you have it. In 1985, the writers and creators looked to see what brands in the future might still be making a splash. And, of course, brands pay big bucks to have their products placed in films, chances are care and consideration went into selecting each brand featured in the film.

What are your favorite Back to the Future II product placements? Tell us in the comments!

Cover Photo Source: Erin Cadigan /

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]Cassandra is a Content Manager and Developer at SJG. She earned her BA from Fontbonne University in 2011. Outside the office, she enjoys an active, healthy and well-rounded lifestyle including reading, writing, running, golfing, watching films, listening to music, taking photographs, and consuming media and social media.[/author_info] [/author]