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Remember AT&T's future from 1993? You will.

Way back in 1993, AT&T ran a series of ads that predicted the future and promised that AT&T would be the company to bring it to us. In 1999 we posted these ads online (with permission) and these ads have been ripped and reposted online ever since, because the campaign showed so many "futuristic" ideas that actually came true. Back in May VOX ran an article called "We live in the future", embedding Adland's films, though ripped and reposted to youtube, so we figure it's high time we remind you about this campaign again. We've shown you this campaign before, on the banner ads tenth birthday, since AT&T ran one of the first ever banner ads on Wired. We brought it up again for the banner ads 15th birthday. By the 20th birthday, everyone else was doing it, including Fastcompany who may have found banner ad creator Otto Simmons via our comments. He was very keen on sharing credits with his team here on Adland back then, always appreciated. Banner ads are now old enough to order a scotch at a bar, how weird is that? Tom Selleck lent his voice to the campaign, which started each commercial with "Have you ever...." then inserted something which at the time was mind-blowingly futuristic, and ended the ad with "you will". AT&T promised that they would be the company to bring it to you. Now, most of the things they showed are actually available in your cellphone, and some of it is so quaint in the retro thinking. The woman who tucks her baby in "from a phone booth" reveals how old these ads really are, have you seen a phonebooth lately? The video conferencing, the smartwatch/phone, the on demand viewing, online doctor diagnostics and online class lectures are all available today. Now all we need is that supermarket checkout that reads the items in a shopping cart but System U have sort of hacked that idea. Reminder: We've been online for almost twenty years, and rely on your donations to keep going. We appreciate every dollar you can spare as a tip. :)

Without further ado - the films!

Have you ever renewed you license, at a cash machine?

"Have you ever paid a toll... Without slowing down?" (yes!)

On demand movie viewing! It's totally Netflix! The original "You will" press release was all up in the hip jargon of the time, even mentioning "surfers" as it promised you could see these ads online, back then on an "internet site" created by none other than Adam Curry. The links are long gone, though.

NEW YORK -- AT&T's YOU WILL(sm) ad campaign, which has captured the nation's attention in magazines, and on TV and radio for the past two years, has a new home in cyberspace. It's called "youwill.com." The YOU WILL campaign, created by N W Ayer, New York, is now appearing on the Internet, where users not only can watch and listen to the award-winning ads on their computers, but also look at AT&T products, locate nearby AT&T Phone Centers and enter a sweepstakes to win a trip and prizes. Featuring the voice of actor Tom Selleck, the YOU WILL campaign takes a whimsical look into the near-future when information technologies now being developed at AT&T will soon enhance the way people work, live and play. For instance, have you ever renewed your drivers license at an ATM? Have you ever studied with a classmate thousands of miles away? Have you ever installed a phone on your wrist? "You will," say the ads, as they dramatize what technology can do for you. The various capabilities in the YOU WILL campaign are based on actual technologies under development by AT&T. The new AT&T Internet site was created by Adam Curry, formerly of MTV, now an independent producer and head of OnRamp, Inc., a New York-based agency. Internet "surfers" can access the youwill.com site directly through the Internet's most user-friendly multimedia resource, the World Wide Web (youwill.com/), via the popular Metaverse site (metaverse.com/) and through several well-known "What's New" lists, including: * Stanford University's Yahoo Net Lists: Commercial Contests (akebono.stanford.edu/yahoo/Economy/Business/Corporations/Contests) * Commercial Services on the Net (tns-www.lcs.mit.edu/commerce/whatsnew.html) * Yellow Pages of Internet Commercial Sites (/info.cern.ch/hypertext/DataSources/bySubject/Yellow/Overview.html) * Global On-Line Directory (cityscape.co.uk/cgi-bin/srch2html?type=Any&Field=Business&Location=Any)

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jmwloup5110's picture

One of the ads should of been have you ever seen a huge telephone corp ended by a babby bell "you will" and the company to bring it to tou won't be AT&T Corp