7 Ways Uncanny AT&T ‘You Will’ Ad Predicted the Future


Image for article titled 6 Ways Uncanny AT&T Ads Predicted the Future in 1993

Screenshot: Lucas Ropek/YouTube

In 1993, telecom giant AT&T launched an advertising campaign that somehow predicted quite a lot of aspects of how we work and live today. The “You Will” ad series, directed by now-famed thrill-master David Fincher, was an eerily accurate look at what life in the mid to late 2000s would look like. The ads, narrated by former Magnum PI star and professional mustache-haver Tom Selleck, imagined a series of scenarios involving gadgets and technology that didn’t yet exist.

“Have you ever done *insert thing we all do now*? Well, you will!” Selleck would say at the beginning of each ad. “And the company that will bring it to you? AT&T,” he added, at the end of each commercial. The campaign foretold a number of technological advances that would define the decades to come like tablets, smart TVs, remote work, smart watches, and smart home devices.

The central prediction of the ad was wrong, though. As Vox noted a couple years ago, while these ads were “remarkably accurate in predicting the cutting-edge technologies” that would soon arrive, they ultimately missed the fact that the company to “bring it to you” was not AT&T. Instead, it would be a whole bunch of startups that didn’t exist at the time, the publication noted.

That said, it’s uncanny to run down all of the things that “You Will” got right about the future.


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