Back to the Future prophesy

We look at which ad-related predictions from the 1989 film have come true.
Nissan 1

“Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.” Despite predicting that by 2015 we’d have flying cars, Universal’s 1989 classic Back to the Future Part II made some bang-on predictions. A recent internet hoax placed the movie’s setting back to 2012 (instead of  2015), so strategy examined which ad-related predictions have come true. There’s still three years for real hoverboards.

Watching multiple screens: In one scene, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) stands in front of a wall of six TVs, watching multiple shows. It might have seemed strange back when households only had one or two TVs, but the boom of flatscreens, PCs, smartphones and tablets means this prediction played down how prevalent the trend would become.

Digital advertising: When McFly first arrives in 2015, he’s attacked by a holographic shark, promoting Jaws 19. Now digital and personalized advertising, digi-billboards, targeted messages and 3D executions are all the rage (see Nissan’s pictured).

Do-it-all glasses: Future McFly’s teens sport a pair of glasses that let them watch TV and answer the phone. Google Glasses promise to surpass this. (The internet-less movie did miss one key aspect of smart-goggles.)

Auto-clothing: In the film, clothes are self-drying, auto-fitting and auto-dressing. We won’t see this by 2015, but anti-wrinkle shirts are here, while self-mending tights are in the works. Plus 3F is working on auto-buying, with its mind-reading shopping aid.