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Back to the Future's Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd are shilling for Toyota's hydrogen-powered car

Back to the Future's Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd are shilling for Toyota's hydrogen-powered car

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Next Wednesday — October 21st, 2015 — is Back to the Future Day, the fateful date that Marty and Doc travel to in the DeLorean in Part II. It's going to be catnip for brands (brandnip, if you will) because the best parts of the movie involved futuristic, non-existent products from AT&T, Mattel, Nike, and Stephen Spielberg, among many others. Expect countless tie-ins and brand activations. Expect fake hoverboards, expect self-lacing Air Mags. Expect an unchecked brandpocalypse unlike anything you've seen in this world or any other.

Brandnip, if you will

Toyota is jumping out to an early lead in this morass, teasing a conversation between Doc's Christopher Lloyd and Marty's Michael J. Fox over how BTTF Part II's predictions of the 2015 brandscape fared. (The full ad will be available, of course, on the 21st.) What's the hook? Toyota's hydrogen-powered Mirai, which just launched in California in extremely limited numbers. The success of the Mirai (and other hydrogen fuel cell vehicles) is dependent largely on the ability of Toyota and others to convince energy companies and governments to build out networks of refueling stations, which barely exist right now — if you wanted to drive a Mirai cross-country, for instance, you'd have a very hard time doing that.

A conversation between Back to the Future's two biggest stars probably isn't going to will those stations into existence (and actually, it probably won't make you want a Mirai, either), but Toyota has good reason to be throwing big money behind campaigns like this: it recently announced that it wants to ramp EVs and fuel cell vehicles way, way up by 2050. That sounds like a long way off — and it is — but again, building out a global network of hydrogen refueling stations doesn't happen overnight.

In the meantime, look forward to more of this video and countless other Back to the Future-themed things, next week.

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