Apple: What AT&T Tried To Be

Back in the 1990s, AT&T was a giant telecommunications company and former government-sponsored telephone monopoly that spanned most of the 20th century, until 1982. But the 2000s hit it hard, and in 2005 it was finally bought by one of its former subsidiaries, Southwestern Bell, which then changed its name and became the AT&T we know today.

AT&T Logo in the 1960s


In 1993 however, the original AT&T tried to brand itself as an innovator that would bring the future to the masses. This was exemplified by an ad campaign which showed then-futuristic things that are now all too familiar: e-books, tablet computers, online shopping, video calls, GPS navigation, streaming movies, self-checkout and Siri. The tag line was “… and the company that will bring it to you: AT&T.”

Ironically, if any one company could take credit for bringing those technologies to the masses, it would be Apple — which at the time was on the fast track to bankruptcy. In the decade that followed, Steve Jobs returned to Apple and turned it around while AT&T began its slow descent into insolvency. But regardless of which company did actually bring the future to us, the ad campaign remains eerily prescient.

From YouTube

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