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Oct. 21, 2015: Brands That Leveraged #BacktotheFutureDay

BttF Day Blog

Last Wednesday marked the day Marty McFly went to the future in the 1980’s movie, “Back to the Future,” and brands didn’t skip a beat aligning themselves with the cult classic. Fortune took an in-depth look at how brands like Nike, Toyota and Pepsi  leveraged the day with ads connecting them to the film, while Ford and Universal created mock ads for a Flux Capacitor and Hoverboard. Lyft even added an element to their ride-sharing app called “McFly Mode.” Great Scott!

Here’s how each of these companies used Back to the Future Day to promote their brand:

  • Nike: When Marty McFly arrives in 2015 in the film, he puts on a pair if Nike sneakers that can lace themselves. Starting in January 2015 Tinker Hatfield, the original creator of the concept, said the Nike team was planning to release self-lacing shoes at some point in the year. The concept was again teased to the world this past Tuesday via a tweet. As of now, we still wait for the futuristic sneaker to become a reality.
  • Toyota: Not only does the car in the film travel through time, it is also fueled by garbage. The car company used the date to promote its new hydrogen fuel car, the Mirai, by including actors Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd in the debut commercial.
  • Pepsi: The drink of choice for Michael J. Fox’s character in the film, Pepsi released limited edition bottles of the soda that were sold on Amazon. However, they may have been a little too limited. Many fans hoping to get a bottle of the Back to the Future Pepsi took to Twitter to express their disappointment.
  • Ford: In honor of Back to the Future Day, Ford created a dummy version of a flux capacitor – the essential part for time travelling in the film. The Y-shaped generator powered by a getting struck by a bolt of lightning bolt or nuclear fuel was released in a mock ad and advertised to sell at a fictional $1.21 million.
  • Universal: Unfortunately not a real product, but Universal released a mock ad for a hoverboard like the sweet ride available in Back to the Future’s version of 2015. Check out the ad here to see how Universal envisions hoverboards in 2015.
  • Lyft: The on-demand ride sharing company offered free rides for up to 15 minutes around New York City in a DeLorean, the type of car used in the film. Users simply had to press the “McFly Mode” button in the Lyft app and the DeLorean ride would arrive minutes later.

Whether a devoted fan who has waited decades for this day or just someone who wanted to take part in the Back to the Future Day festivities, brands successfully engaged audiences through strategically impactful advertising.

For more on how brands utilized the date for product placement read the full Fortune article here:


Twitter Chat: A Different Avenue to Engage Your Audience

Twitter Chat

Twitter is famous – or infamous—for only allowing its users 140 characters to relay their message. So, why is it that this social media outlet is generally considered the best platform to capture brands’ audiences? The answer lies in Twitter chats, a discussion about an arranged topic. The short messages make it easy for participants to stay involved and interested. The chats create a comfortable atmosphere to connect with a brand, event or product. It can also build advocacy, loyalty and community with participants. Once a topic is chosen that will appeal to followers and future followers, what’s next? Twitter chats can work, but it takes a lot of effort beforehand.

Here are our favorite tips from PR Daily on how to host a successful Twitter chat:

  1. Invite Influential Users

If this is your first time throwing a digital party, it’s best to engage a few well-known tweeters who are experts on your topic. Find and invite some users with big followings who will bring their audience along to your chat and add a respected voice to your topic. Imagine the amount of knowledge available during an effective chat with a number of tweeters who can access real-time, expert advice with the click of a few keys.

  1. Hashtag it

So you have your topic and your special guests.  Now you need a hashtag so your audience can follow along and respond. The hashtag is important so your audience can find the conversation and use it to chime in when they have something of value to add. We’re not sure if you’ve noticed, but there’s quite a bit of activity on Twitter; let’s call it noise. Using a consistent and easy hashtag mean people will notice there’s an organized discussion happening that’s also easy to track.

  1. Go With the Flow, But Have a Plan

Twitter chats are fun, but ensure that you:

  • Promote it.
  • Keep the conversation going
  • Give guests equal time.
  • Don’t ignore your followers
  • Document it

To check out the rest of PR Daily’s tips visit:

Tips on How to Improve Communication Through Twitter

With over 1 billion people using social networks today, social media has become an extremely influential mode of communication. Knowing appropriate social media guidelines can help improve the messages you are sending to your friends and followers through statuses, tweets and photos. An info graphic by PR Daily provides nine tips to effectively communicate through tweets below:

  1. Use no more than two hashtags per tweet
  2. Avoid slang and abbreviations
  3. Don’t be afraid to use symbols
  4. Avoid capitalizing words (unless you want to look like you are yelling)
  5. Emphasis on keywords with brackets
  6. Use link shortening services
  7. Leave empty space
  8. Link your tweet to a website, blog or other social media
  9. Motivate readers to engage with your content

Check out their info graphic for more tips:

For the full article visit:

Twitterview: 5 Tips for Success

Twitter is taking over; it’s more than just a passing fad. We know this by now. You might even be tired of hearing about it. But that doesn’t change the fact that communicators and PR pros should stay on the lookout for new, effective ways to use the service. Here’s a good example of an emerging Twitter trend from the June 2009 edition of the BurrellesLuce newsletter

Enjoy, and don’t forget to follow @paramountpr!

Twitterview: 5 Tips for Success

With Twitter’s mainstream acceptance in the world of business, many public relations professionals seek to use the service in a way that positively impacts their brand, products, and professional network.

As with other forms of social media, it’s no longer enough to simply state “what you are doing” or to only “follow” or “retweet” someone who shares similar interests. Rather, the focus has shifted to creating meaningful content on which to form strong ties.

It all boils down to developing a solid community. And PR folks, as well as other social media users, are finding Twitterviews effective tools in their community-building efforts.

Twitterviews: PR in 140 Characters
Interviews on Twitter have gained in popularity these last few months, due in no small part to the increasing use of social media by public officials. However, journalists have been using Twitterviews for quite some time, such as when they conduct celebrity interviews. And PR professionals have followed suit. There’s even a whole website devoted to this form of online interview:

So what explains the growth of the Twitterview? The primary reason is that a Twitterview is conducted in real-time, which allows for active participation from the audience.

Whether you are the PR pro who is hosting the chat or the person helping your client organize and prep for one, how do you help ensure a successful Twitterview?

Five tips to get you started

  1. Make certain that a Twitterview matches your communication goals. Not all subjects or newsmakers are conducive for discussion on social media. Depending on your goals, it might just be better to do an in-person interview. For instance, if you or your client is being interviewed about a product recall, or speaking about changes in policies, a face-to-face interview could be the most effective way to convey your messages.
  2. Arrange to speak with the person beforehand. Whether you are the interviewer or the interviewee, you’ll want to agree on the topic, a date and time to hold the Twitterview, the platform, etc. This will help improve overall communication flow the day of the event and make for a more enjoyable Twitterview experience.
  3. Be prepared with “text bites.” Knowing the topic beforehand not only helps eliminate the chance of miscommunication, it gives you the opportunity to prepare strong text bites and short URLS to link to source material and examples. Remember: tweets are limited to 140 characters. When a question or response runs over, use the ellipsis (…) to indicate there is more to follow. Otherwise, the interviewer/interviewee might move on to the next question or respond before you’ve had a chance to finish your thought.
  4. Encourage people to follow and participate in the live interview. Social media is designed to engage your audience and foster a sense of community. You may want to reserve a #hashtag (a way of tagging similar tweets on Twitter by following the # symbol with a short word of your choice) so your audience can follow the interview in real-time, and also see all the other tweets pertaining to the event. So, for instance, if a journalist were going to interview your CEO, you might create a #hashtag that reads #ceointerview and then promote it when you announce the event. (To set up a hashtag, please visit )
  5. Publicize your Twitterview via social and traditional media. Tweet about the interview in advance, write about it on your blog, mention it on LinkedIn, or create an email blast to invite participants. In short, use your full array of PR skills to build an audience for the event.