It seems like there’s an awful lot of Back to the Future nostalgia invading the Internet these days, with posts about the series on sites like Reddit leading to listicles about the trilogy on nostalgia-aggregators like Buzzfeed which then go viral on Facebook and eventually find themselves on large emails your mom sends to her friends and CC’s you on for some reason. And, what with it being 2013 and all, where advertising campaigns are becoming increasingly informed by memes, we get GE and BBDO NY using the “1.21 gigawatts” thing to sell you technology or something. Where we’re going, we don’t need roads to perdition; we just fly there through space and time.
And yet, nostalgia has a way of endearing you to things in a way totally out of your control. Call it manipulation, call it “effective advertising” using one of the oldest tricks in the book. Any way or slice it, it’s hard as even a casual fan of the series not to get a little giddy when you see what are ostensibly Marty McFly’s Nikes pop out of a souped-up Delorean. While Pepperidge Farm dares us to remember a time when people died of dystentary and snakebites like in Oregon Trail, Back to the Future‘s original audience has aged to the point where brands see the 1980s as a way to get consumers on board 30-something years later.
In fact, I hope this becomes a whole campaign where GE powers David Bowie‘s castle from Labyrinth, E.T.‘s glowing finger, and the computer from Weird Science. And, though it wouldn’t make much sense, maybe Michael J. Fox could narrate those spots too. Maybe in another 30 years, GE will power the ships from Avatar and Robin Thicke can provide us with his own deep-voiced VO. Trust me, it will make sense by then. Credits after the jump.