Toyota Intros Hydrogen Fuel Cell Mirai With “Back To The Future” Tie-In On Movie’s Anniversary

With agencies Droga5 and Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles, Toyota taps into excitement about the occasion to promote its "futuristic" car.

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Back To The Future

We may not have hoverboards or time machines (yet), but we’re fast approaching the iconic future date that Marty McFly and Doc Brown visited in the now-classic Back To The Future series 30 years ago. Toyota, helped by Droga5 and Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles, is taking the opportunity to introduce its entrant into a category that many believe to be the future of transportation: a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle called the Mirai.

The Mirai, which has been the subject of an ongoing digital campaign called “Fueled by Everything,” will go on sale on October 21, 2015, the date the time travelers visited in the second movie.

To build excitement about the Mirai and the tie-in campaign, Toyota this week debuted a short video featuring the film’s actors, Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd, in which they sit at a diner and have a discussion about what has (and hasn’t) come to pass as envisioned in Back To The Future Part II.

The video, posted on YouTube and promoted via Twitter and Facebook placements hashtagged #BTTF and #Toyota, is just the start of the story the brand will tell. Indeed, it has also uploaded mysterious teaser videos like “Clocks” (below) that conclude with the Back to the Future logo and a link to Toyota’s microsite at

Another video, disguised as a TV commercial for a Toyota dealership, features many references to the Back to the Future franchise, including a replica of the Toyota 4×4 that was Marty McFly’s dream vehicle in the film series:

When a person dials the toll-free number provided in the ad, they hear the car dealer’s voice and have an opportunity to learn about the Back to the Future promotion, receive a free Statler Toyota license plate holder, or hear more about the Mirai.

The microsite, whose navigation is designed like the famous DeLorean, simply allows viewers to watch the three teaser videos and promises another is coming on Monday, October 19 — followed, presumably, by “the full video” when the future arrives on October 21.


Also teased by the videos and other materials are several live events around California where re-creations of Marty McFly’s Tacoma will be the centerpiece. The company has apparently been inviting influencers to attend these events with mailings of 80s style watches.

Here are some examples of the social posts, which have been met with positive feedback:

The brand aims to keep the excitement building until midnight on October 20, when it will host the parties and release the full video.

About the author

Pamela Parker
Pamela Parker is Research Director at Third Door Media's Content Studio, where she produces MarTech Intelligence Reports and other in-depth content for digital marketers in conjunction with Search Engine Land and MarTech. Prior to taking on this role at TDM, she served as Content Manager, Senior Editor and Executive Features Editor. Parker is a well-respected authority on digital marketing, having reported and written on the subject since its beginning. She's a former managing editor of ClickZ and has also worked on the business side helping independent publishers monetize their sites at Federated Media Publishing. Parker earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.

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