So the future visited by Marty McFly and Doc Brown is finally here, although we don’t yet have flying cars, rehydrating food and self-drying clothes! Nobody may use fax machines and pay phones anymore and people certainly don’t wear two ties at once, but Back To The Future Part II’s prediction of Wednesday October 21st 2015 has turned out to be surprisingly close to reality.
Scanning fingerprints for payments have recently become a thing through Apple Pay and other similar offerings and smart homes are also starting to exist. VR glasses like Microsoft’s upcoming Hololens and the Oculus Rift were all correctly predicted, as were tablets, smartwatches that tell you the weather, Skype/Facetime, drones, multi-channel TV watching, 3D movies and a cinema box office dominated by movie franchises with multiple sequels. The Chicago Cubs might even win Baseball’s World Series this year as they’re amongst the final four teams in the postseason. It’s incredible just how much the film got correct.
The film’s huge fanbase has meant that pretty much ever since the film was released back in 1989, the anticipation surrounding the October 21st 2015 date and whether the predictions would come true has been around and this has led to some companies recently acting on the product placements they had. Pepsi Perfect was the drink of choice in Back To The Future’s version of 2015 and so Pepsi recently announced that it would be selling a limited run of the drink styled in the same design as seen in the film for $20.15. At the recent New York Comic Con they gave out free bottles to anyone dressed as Marty McFly, which resulted in huge crowds of people dressed as the time traveller.
In 2011 Nike sold a limited run of shoes designed like the ones Marty wore in the film. They were sold to benefit charity, but one crucial element was missing, self-lacing. Recently, Nike announced that they were planning on selling the shoe, the Nike Air MAG, sometime in 2015 with the self-lacing element. This is heavily rumoured to be happening today and has of course created a lot of mentions on twitter, with around 14,000 retweets on a tweet to Michael J. Fox that simply says “See you tomorrow”. But whether that tweet actually has anything to do with the shoes, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Both of these products are taking advantage of the desirability and collectors value that they have for fans of the film franchise. The announcements of them generated massive social media traffic and will probably continue to in the days ahead.
But these aren’t the only example of recent marketing based around the film, Ford (whose cars were used as the basis for the ones seen in the film) recently released this tongue in cheek video promoting a ‘Flux Capacitor upgrade’ for its cars.
And Universal, the studio that made the Back To The Future franchise, have released this spoof trailer for Jaws 19, the film whose holographic shark Marty ran into in 2015 Hill Valley.
In some ways, Back To The Future Part II and the vision of the future it predicted feel like they have almost shaped the real future itself. Fans of the film have strived to make those predictions a reality and no more so than with one of the most memorable items from the film, the hoverboard. Two different companies, Hendo and Lexus, are creating their own versions of the worlds first real life hoverboard, and whilst they might not yet be to the same ability as seen in the film, they’re still a lot more cool looking in my opinion than those segways without handlebars that everyone is calling ‘hoverboards’ at the moment.
This is all a great example of how brands and companies can capitalise on product placements and the anticipation and excitement surrounding a particular date, the social media sharing and discussion of these videos and products have caused the majority of them to go viral in the run up to today. Whilst Back To The Future Part II may now be a film about the past rather than the future, there’s no reason why the last few predictions of the film couldn’t come true in the coming years. Whilst we may still need roads for now, who knows what the future will bring, now where can I preorder my hoverboard?
There has recently been a hashtag trending on Twitter that focuses around removing a single letter from a film title to create a new and humourous result, #filmswithonelettermissing. Needless to say, it has proven to be very popular, trending for a number of days and spawning a huge number of suggestions, many complete with photoshopped images for the newly created films. Coincidentally, this is something that illustrator Austin Light was doing for the month of October, long before the hashtag started. His Inktober 2014 series features a different drawing for each day of the month, using the film typos of social networking site Reddit as subject matter.
This resulted in a collection of 31 hilariously witty images, each complete with a short altered synopsis for the new film. Below are a few of my favourites, you can view the whole set here.
Obocop – The story of how a police officer works through his PTSD and adjusts to his new robotic implants with the help of the sexy soothing sound of his oboe.
Finding Emo – An insufferable teenage fish runs away from home. His father contemplates searching for him.
Jurassic Par – Two dinosaurs set out to prove they’re more than just killing machines. Thanks to a loophole in the rules they find a spot on the PGA tour and golf their way to the top of the food chain.
Harry Otter – A young boy finds out who, and what, he is. Magic ensues.
Alen – The story of a lonely cashier named Alen who yearns for something more. Something like eating astronauts.
Found via Design Taxi
In an effort to get more people to wait for the red light at pedestrian crossings, car manufacturer Smart redesigned the experience as part of their promotional safety campaign WhatAreYouFOR. A really fantastic concept, it uses a nearby booth and cameras to translate the dance moves of members of the public into the red traffic light man in real time. Its a really fun and engaging idea that seems to have achieved its purpose of making the public take notice and wait, as it resulted in 81% more people stopping at the crossing.
Found via Colossal
One of my favourite artists is Banksy and one of my favourite toys when growing up was LEGO, so you can imagine my excitement when I found this. Canadian photographer Jeff Friesen has created a series of photos that merge these two elements, recreating some of Banksy’s most famous pieces in LEGO brick form.
Friesen has then played on LEGO’s values of imagination and creativity, visualising what the wider context of the piece is by placing it within a larger LEGO environment.
Here’s a few of my favourites;
You can see more of the pics on Jeff’s website here.
Found via Design Taxi
Crowdsourcing has become an often used tactic by companies recently, especially by Walkers with their many ‘do us a flavour’ competitions. The latest to jump on this bandwagon though is none other than McDonald’s, who have recently launched a ‘Build Your Own Burger’ campaign to come up with new flavours for their menu. Their UK stores have teamed up with digital agency Razorfish London to create a ‘Burger Builder’ that allows you design your dream burger from a list of ingredients that contain both standard ones such as cheese and bacon, as well as new ones like guacamole and pineapple. Five winning designs will be released for a week each over a five-week period similar to the McDonald’s Tastes of America campaign.
The competition has proved incredibly successful so far, with well over 52,000 unique designs currently submitted. However, a look through the ‘most popular’ tab shows that it may not have had the desired effect, as many of them are just gluten-free versions of burgers already on the McDonald’s menu. There are though a few really interesting sounding ones, such as (and I’m definitely not being biased here) my Sweet ‘N’ Smokey burger.
Crowdsourcing in this way is definitely popular and is a really nice way to get customers involved even more closely with the iconic McDonald’s brand. Its created a really interesting look at what other people consider their dream burger to be, as you can definitely create some odd combinations with flavours like brie slices, guacamole and pesto mayonnaise. I’m interested to see what the final five are.
Found via Design Taxi
On a side note, my website is now updated with my final two projects from the third (and final) year of my degree. Check them out here.
So finally, after what seems like ages of tinkering and tweaking, my new website is online. You can find it at sambennettdesign.co.uk, and it’s been built using fluid grids in dreamweaver so should work no matter what device you view it on. All my work is on there, so feel free to have a look through everything and if you find anything that doesn’t work or looks out of place, just give me a shout so I can fix it.
This great design series by Flickr user Harvezt has been making the rounds on social media lately, with a number of design sites talking about it. In each piece, Harvezt takes a popular album cover and visualises what that scene would look like from behind.
This series of images shares slight parallels with another one I recently found by none other than the Guardian newspaper. In it, various famous album covers are inserted into Google street view shots of where the albums cover imagery was originally taken.
Some really interesting examples of how album artwork of the past can be reimagined for the future.