Tom Selleck's Old Ad Campaign Predicted the Future in Eerily Accurate Way

Tom Selleck's Old Ad Campaign Predicted the Future in Eerily Accurate Way
Image credit: CBS

Tom Selleck, the star of P.I. Magnum and Blue Bloods, had done many roles, big and small, during his long career.

Among other things, he appeared in ads. And one particular series of ads, in which he starred, happened to be eerily prophetic about the future.

We're talking about the "You Will" AT&T ad campaign from 1993, which was directed by another famous person, David Fincher. Fincher started his career by directing TV commercials and music videos, and then co-founding production company Propaganda Films, where many future film directors, including Michael Bay and Zack Snyder also worked, before moving on to grander projects. In 1993 Fincher's directorial debut, Alien 3, was just recently met with poor reception, so he temporarily returned to making ads.

And "You Will" became one of his best works in that realm.

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Each of the ads, the compilation of which is now available on YouTube, follows the same template. The comforting voice of younger Selleck asks a question like "Have you ever borrowed a book from thousands of miles away, across the country?"

Or "Have you ever watched the movie you wanted to, the minute you wanted to?" Or "Have you ever kept an eye on your home, when you're not at home?"

Meanwhile we see clips, displaying people of the future casually doing just what he says. "You will," says Selleck at the end of each ad, before asserting that AT&T is the company, which will bring all of those capabilities to us.

Well, save for that AT&T part, almost everything promised in those ads came true nowadays. But particularly remarkable is the fact that just twenty years ago many of those currently-commonplace scenarios seemed to viewers a bit outlandish, almost like something out of science fiction.

Fincher himself remarked on it, when reminiscing on the "You Will" campaign, and discussing how much it got right:

"Ultimately it was just about making sure you could kind of present stuff as simply as possible. It's always an interesting thing ... to build stuff you can imagine."

Clearly Fincher's imagination is powerful, given how predictive that series of ads happened to be about our modern, connected world.