Known as “The Newspaper of the Universe,” MARS Today is an intergalactically distributed Martian daily newspaper published by the Gannett Company.
In “Total Recall,” Arnold Schwarzenegger is on the run from bad guys in a shopping mall on Mars. The movie audience is delighted to recognize a visual pun: There’s a familiar newspaper box, but it says “Mars Today” in red instead of the iconic blue.
USA Today was the most aggressively marketed newspaper of the 1980s. That newspaper box was shaped liked a television screen on purpose, which was bold for the times. Where other newspapers had long, hyphenated names going back to pre-Civil War mergers, USA Today chose its name and logo from soft drink marketing. USA Today found a niche market: Travelers and hotel guests. It was relentless about product placement in movies and television, and “Total Recall” was one of its high points. In a movie about corporate greed, filled with logos for Hilton, Pepsi and Sharper Image, why wouldn’t you find the newspaper for travelers on Mars?
Mars Today is read on Mars in Total Recall (Paul Verhoeven 1990), which takes place in 2084.