Thanks a lot, everyone. You’ve taken a perfectly fun movie reference and turned it into a sinister circle jerk, manned by money-hungry marketers. I loved the Back to the Future trilogy when I was a kid. Now, I just want to strap fake hoverboards to my chest and drown myself in overpriced Pepsi Perfect while I pray for a pair of Nike self-tying shoes and a self-driving Delorean.
Back to the Future Day has ruined Back to the Future for me.
It wasn’t always like this. Back in the 1980s, when I was still a baby and a tweet was just a sound that pretty birds made, the Back to the Future movies were a huge box office success. As Hollywood does, the fun-filled franchise spawned a whole line of toys, merchandise, and even a theme park ride that I remember loving when my family visited Universal Studios in the ’90s. (We got free tickets after suffering through a time share presentation in Orlando.) Around that time I used allowance money to buy my very own copy of the original movie on VHS — at McDonald’s of all places.
Admittedly, Back to the Future was always kind of a commercial clusterfuck, but it was fun one, not unlike the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or any other brand-loving film full of product placement. Then, the internet decided to strain all of the meaning out of the movies in order to create viral content and Kickstarter campaigns. Back to the Future made it easy, not only because it already had the support (and inherent product placement) of companies like Nike and Pepsi, but also because the movie’s plot pre-programmed a single day — 21 October 2015 — that would inevitably become Back to the Future Day. And now this day is essentially a 24-hour-long commercial for Back to the Future-themed ads.
It was kind of funny at first. A few years ago, people started photoshopping that image of the Delorean dashboard so that everyone would think that it was the wrong day. It was sort of curious how Nike was developing the same self-tying shoe technology that’s in the movie. But by the time the branded hashtags arrived in anticipation for the day that Marty McFly travelled to in 2015, it was too late. Back to the Future was fucked.
How about this, though? Fuck Back to the Future Day.
— JetBlue Airways (@JetBlue) October 21, 2015
— Olive Garden (@olivegarden) October 21, 2015
Fuck this tweet in particular:
— Charmin (@Charmin) October 21, 2015
Fuck the litany of senseless tweets from companies trying to capitalise on the movie reference. Fuck the companies like Pepsi and Nike who are miraculously still squeezing relevance out of their product placements, decades after the film’s release. Fuck the marketers trying to trick you into thinking you can buy a functional hoverboard. Fuck the PR people who’ve sent a million pitches in a half-hearted attempt at using Back to the Future Day as a peg for their client’s own shitty products. Fuck all that noise.
Like so many others, I’m happy that Back to the Future Day is over. I’m ready to power down this hype machine and go walk in the park and look at blades of grass like I’m Ralph Waldo Emerson or something. The real future (and past) is imposing and exciting enough.
Oh, and fuck this, too:
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) October 21, 2015
Image via Flickr / Gizmodo.