Article in Advertising category.
What Tom Selleck Knew About The Future
Have you ever crossed the country without stopping for directions? Sent a fax from the beach? Have you ever tucked your baby in from a…
Have you ever crossed the country without stopping for directions? Sent a fax from the beach? Have you ever tucked your baby in from a phone booth? In 1993 and ‘94, AT&T asked these same questions, and 17 more like them, in a series of iconic advertisements. Directed by David Fincher (of Fight Club and The Social Network fame) and featuring the voice of Tom Selleck, the ‘You Will’ campaign was an eerie if not equally hilarious look to the future.
Every question Selleck asked was answered with an auspicious “You Will.” He wasn't kidding, mostly. We’ve all crossed the country without stopping for directions, even if doing so raises your spouse's blood pressure. And while I’ve never sent a fax from the beach (I’m starting to forget what a fax is) I've certainly signed and sent in PDFs from the dock.
It’s impressive how the majority of the ads filmed twenty years ago resemble the day to day life in 2013. Everything Selleck promised came to be, the ATM that renews your driver's licence and a glimpse at 2:03 of what looks like a zoot suit notwithstanding. Not only are video conferencing, home automation and ebooks everyday phenomena, but they even sort of look like AT&T’s designs.
While films like Back to the Future II made promises the human race hasn't yet delivered, AT&T envisioned a future that is now our present. Fun fact: AT&T's PR team coined ‘The Information Age’ in the ‘60s.
It’s worth mentioning their most ambitious prediction, tagged to the end of every ad. AT&T promised to deliver all of the tech it mentioned. Sadly, it did not. Back to the Future, however, will always get credit for hoverboard, even after it’s (finally) invented.
Take a look at the ‘You Will’ commercials and enjoy. However far away we are from 1993, the distance between us and the future hasn’t changed. Make your predictions, and make your video so that 20 years from now, if it’s not funny, it’ll be creepy.