You won't.
October 31, 2004 5:20 AM   Subscribe

So the banner ad turned 10 a few days ago, according to dabitch, but what I find more fascinating is that its first use was in connection with all those AT&T "You Will" television commercials from the early '90s. Here, collected on one page, for your consideration, are those ads. As Frau Farbissina would screech: "Lies. ALL LIES!" Well, perhaps AT&T didn't lie to us about all their predictions, but I'm still waiting for my "intelligent assistant" who'll work on those playoff tickets for me. How many predictions did they make that came true can you find here?
posted by WolfDaddy (21 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
The director of many (or all?) of those ads was David Fincher, which explains the awkward juxtaposition of the jubilant, feel-good soundtrack and of the dark, creepy visuals.

Also, those ads were for the Bell Labs division of AT&T that was spun off into Lucent; not the curiously bathetic version of AT&T that just pulled out of the consumer landline market. They're honestly not as far off as I had expected.
posted by eschatfische at 7:08 AM on October 31, 2004 [1 favorite]


Hey, check this out: They're all online to watch here.

I love the cyberpunk visuals.
posted by inksyndicate at 7:09 AM on October 31, 2004


Oops...just go here and type "you will" at&t in the search box.
posted by inksyndicate at 7:11 AM on October 31, 2004


erm, inksyndicate, if you had bothered to click the initial link I provided you probably wouldn't have such a red face right now ;-)

[/gentle chide]
posted by WolfDaddy at 7:37 AM on October 31, 2004


And you know, for the stuff that we don't have yet, well, we don't have it yet. That's different from the promise being a lie.
posted by kindall at 7:55 AM on October 31, 2004


WHEN A CORPORATION SAYS IT, IT'S ALWAYS A PROMISE, AND NEVER A LIE.
posted by quonsar at 8:07 AM on October 31, 2004


While we're on the subject, screw flying cars, I want flying cars AND EXTRA-NEON HOLOGRAPHIC ADVERTS TO FLY SAID CAR THROUGH, dammit.
posted by WolfDaddy at 8:22 AM on October 31, 2004


The ads failed for one primary reason. Customers inadvertently thought they were being asked to change their first name to "Will." The result? Inexplicable hatred for the banner ad and for guys named "Will." Can't we all just get along?
posted by ed at 8:57 AM on October 31, 2004


Oops.
posted by inksyndicate at 9:03 AM on October 31, 2004


As long as Google doesn't set up franchise booths, hire Robin Williams and rename themselves "Ask Dr. Know."
posted by kevspace at 9:12 AM on October 31, 2004


Have you ever paid a toll without slowing down?

I have.

Have you ever watched a movie the minute you wanted to?

Yep.

On another note -- I expected these to be stupid after all this time, but they're great, in a slightly anachrnoistic way ("have you ever tucked your baby in ... from a phone booth?" heh). I dig the music, too.
posted by Tlogmer at 9:19 AM on October 31, 2004


I like that phone-booth thing. It's right but wrong. We can tuck our babies in with our 3G cell phones! Who needs phonebooths?

I hope my little server holds. ;)
posted by dabitch at 9:38 AM on October 31, 2004 [1 favorite]


As a friend once pointed out to me, the music is very similar to Salisbury Hill by Peter Gabriel.

If I'm not mistaken, that's Naomi Watts on the train, and Jenna Elfman doing the "tucking."

Sure, the cash machine predictions are silly, and payphones? Oops. But still, the ads hold up fairly well.
posted by O9scar at 9:57 AM on October 31, 2004


dabitch, if your little server got boingboing'd, certainly it can handle us widdle folks, right? ;-)
posted by WolfDaddy at 10:39 AM on October 31, 2004


Have you ever paid a toll without slowing down?
I have.


So have I, the funny thing is, AT&T had nothing to do with it. ;)

Wolfdaddy, yeah looks like it can. Good boy. pets server.
posted by dabitch at 11:07 AM on October 31, 2004


Have you ever watched a movie the minute you wanted to?

Yeah dude almost every time now and I don't pay corporations for it.
posted by Keyser Soze at 2:01 PM on October 31, 2004


Isn't that Karen Duffy of later MTV fame "buying concert tickets from a cash machine"?
posted by crasspastor at 3:17 PM on October 31, 2004


hey, I liked those ads. So much better-produced than the usual Madison Avenue crap.
posted by Vidiot at 8:51 PM on October 31, 2004


I've used these as a backhanded reference here and there and apparently nobody remembers them. Had I said "Where's the beef?", I'm sure people would recognize the nod, but somehow these AT&T gems have been forgotten.
posted by codger at 6:58 AM on November 1, 2004


Um, not to be a stickler, but the first ad is dated May 3, 1993, doesn't that make it 11 as of this past May?

Nice post though. Thanks.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:24 AM on November 1, 2004


The first "You Will" television ad is from 1993. The first www banner ad turned ten this year. I'm just glad all those tv spots are gathered in one place online now, though ... they're one of the most memorable things, to me, about the early 90s.
posted by WolfDaddy at 12:19 PM on November 1, 2004


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