Toyota Reunites Doc Brown and Marty McFly to Promote Its New Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car

Back to the Future's tech is real (sort of)

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In the seminal 1989 film Back to the Future II, Marty McFly and Doc Brown take a trip from the 1980s to the future date of Oct. 21, 2015. They travel in a junky DeLorean that Doc Brown, played by Christopher Lloyd, rigs to be powered by fuel cell technology.

Now, Toyota has a variation of the hydrogen fuel cell technology the film predicted. It powers the new Mirai model, and the automaker reunited Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd to promote it. 

Part of the "Fueled by Everything" campaign from Droga5, the Back to the Future II work kicks off with two teaser spots (see below), and the full five-minute video will launch on Oct. 21. With this campaign, Toyota effectively joins Pepsi and Nike in their attempts to make the future of Back to the Future II a reality (see Pepsi Perfect and, hopefully, Nike's self-lacing shoes). 

"Over the years we've had a lot of fun predicting which Back to the Future fictional 2015 technology would arrive by the real year," Fox said in a statement. 

But it's a bit different for Toyota as the brand has been working on hydrogen fuel cell technology for two decades, according to Doug Coleman, national marketing and communications manager for Toyota's advanced technology vehicles. 

"It was this really wonderful coincidence that we're bringing to market the first time, in a retail way, a new fuel cell vehicle that runs on hydrogen, and that launch date happened to be October 2015," said Coleman. "From a development point of view, there was nothing magical about that date other than that it coincided with the deployment of hydrogen fueling stations in the state of California."

And 10 months ago, when conceiving possible marketing for the new Mirai, Droga5 "recognized the amazing opportunity," said Coleman. "We realized this happy coincidence that October 2015 just happened to be this magical month in which Marty McFly and Doc Brown go back into the future."

"And then even more magical, Mr. Fusion [the fueling component of the DeLorean] from the film, uses hydrogen—but in a very different way," said Coleman. "It can be fueled by trash to create energy. Our car does effectively the same thing. We can use trash, transition that through several processes into hydrogen and ultimately fuel the Mirai." 

The Mirai has already launched in Japan. Initially in the U.S., Toyota will only roll out roughly 1,000 Mirai vehicles in California. Toyota will introduce the Mirai to the Northeast and other regions as hydrogen fueling stations are created. 

Client: Toyota Mirai
Campaign: "Fueled by Everything"
Fueled by the Future (4:45)
Clocks Teaser (0:37)
Diner Teaser (0:43)
Fueled by the Future PreRoll (0:15)
FBTF: Behind the Science (1:18)
Launch Date: Oct. 21, 2015
Agency: Droga5 NY
Creative Chairman: David Droga
Chief Creative Officer: Ted Royer
Executive Creative Director: Neil Heymann
Creative Director: David Gibson
Creative Director: Nathan Lennon
Copywriter: Bryan Wolff
Art Director: Daniël Sumarna
Copywriter: Colin Lord
Art Director: Inna Kofman
Associate Design Director: Devin Croda
Designer: Indah Shillingford
Designer: Natalie Cho
Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale
Head of Broadcast Production: Ben Davies
Executive Broadcast Producer: Scott Chinn
Head of Interactive Production: Niklas Lindstrom
Executive Interactive Producer: Justin Durazzo
Senior Interactive Producer: Maggie Macdonald
Associate Interactive Producer: Morgan Mendel
Director of Technology: Andy Prondak
Senior Technology Lead: Joachim Do
Senior Developer: Jim Alexander
QA Engineer: Yadira Isaac
Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer
Strategy Director: Tom Haslow
Strategist: Emily Mulvey
Head of Communications Strategy: Colleen Leddy
Group Communications Strategy Director: Duncan Owen
Communications Strategist: Parks Middleton
Head of Data Strategy: Andrew Tully
Data Strategist: Anthony Khaykin
Social Media Manager: Whitney Brodribb
Group Account Director: Steven Panariello
Account Director: Bola Adekoya
Account Manager: Belle Bonar
Associate Account Manager: Leo Wong
Senior Project Manager: Anika Chowdhury
Client: Toyota
Nat'l Marketing & Communications Manager, Advanced Technology Vehicles: Doug Coleman
Vehicle Marketing & Communications Manager, Toyota Marketing Department: Nathan Kokes
National Marketing & Communications, Toyota Motor Sales: Julia Greenberg
Production Company: Caviar
Director: Jeremy Konner
DOP: Simon Thirlaway
Executive Producers: Michael Sagol, Jasper Thomlinson
Producer: Adrianne McCurrach
Editorial: Cut + Run
Editor: Georgia Dodson
Assistant Editor: Beau Dickson
Executive Producer: Rana Martin
Producer: Evyn Bruce
Post Production: MPC New York
Post Producer: Sophie Gibson
Lead Flame Artist: Alex Harding
DI Colorist: Adrian Seery
Back to the Future & Back to the Future II: Score Alan Silvestri
"Power of Love" by Huey Lewis & The News
Sound: Heard City
Mixers: Evan Mangiamele, Philip Loeb
Interactive Production Company: Resn
Quality Assurance Testing: Enzyme Testing Labs, Hook QA

@KristinaMonllos Kristina Monllos is a senior editor for Adweek.