Take a look at this interesting montage of television advertising from AT&T from nearly 20 years ago.
The "You Will" series looked at what you will be able to do in the future. It's amazing how many of the predictions the ads got right – there’s an iPad like device, a GPS navigation system, the ability to purchase concert tickets online, virtual meeting software, and on-demand video at home.
There are several things that were spectacularly inaccurate however such as the continued use of a phone booth and fax. (When was the last time you even saw a phone booth?) But it's remarkable how much was absolutely right.
The payoff line in each ad is: "And the company that will bring it to you? AT&T."
Interesting how this is both right and wrong.
While I do use AT&T wireless services because I have an iPhone, I don’t really think of AT&T as the company that brings me all this great technology. Rather, I think of Apple as the primary driver of the futuristic technologies that are most important to me today.
AT&T's role has become that of a commodity (in my mind at least) rather than an innovator.