5 min read

Back to the Brand: Real Ads from Brands Featured in Back to the Future

Posted By
Gillian Singletary

While we all take a little extra time today to feel nostalgic about the fact that Marty McFly's future is today:

we're looking back what those 30 years (and the 30 years before that) looked like for the modern brands that the iconic Back to the Future trilogy featured. Even if Robert Zemeckis has reportedly said that he will never do product placement again, these examples sure make for some interesting comparisons.

Wonder Bread

In the first movie, we don't get to see what the filmmakers imagined for these brands in 2015, but we have the benefit of actually living in 2015. In the ads of the past, Wonder Bread put a lot of emphasis on its health benefits -- giving you energy and even powering an Olympic team. In 2015, that's not really going to fly for white bread, so they veered towards something a little more fun with the very recent and very punny Walking Dead ad, while staying true to their kid-friendly brand. 



The McFly family in 1985 keeps a fully stocked kitchen, including a shelf full of Kellogg's cereals like Cocoa Krispies.

With its headquarters right in ManoByte's own backyard in Battle Creek, Michigan, we loved tracking down these old Kellogg's ads. And since the company has been around since 1906, there were plenty to choose from. It's interesting to see how the cereal imagery has shifted but the messaging really hasn't. Kellogg's cereal is delicious and that's all you need to know. 



In the faux 2015, Pepsi Perfect shows up at what is clearly a cool kids hang out: 

Pepsi has stayed true to its youth-centric brand through and through. From a sock hopping couple in the 1950s to modern sexpot Sofia Vergara -- Pepsi is for young, beautiful people who know how to enjoy life.



You can't talk about Back to the Future (or more specifically, the sequel Back II the Future) without mentioning Marty McFly's hoverboard. Made by Mattel.

Of course, hoverboards are not the only thing - or even the main thing - that Mattel is known for. No, that would be the Barbie doll. And there have been plenty of ads through the years celebrating her stylish figure. It's interesting to note how the ads have gone from focusing on her accessories, including the iconic striped swimsuit and her arm candy Ken, to focusing on how Barbies make little girls feel -- fun, imaginative, and in charge. 


Black & Decker

Who hasn't dreamed of having instant fresh and delicious rehydrated pizza at the touch of a button? Black & Decker made that a reality in Back II the Future.  But they've made a lot more home improvement dreams a reality both before and since. 

Black & Decker


We hope you liked this trip through the history of advertising. We're definitely excited to see what the next 60 years will bring.