When Mobile Phone Ads Were Fun And Not Just So Boring My God

Amanda Rosenberg
Mar 29, 2016 · 5 min read

There was a time when mobile phone ads were fun. A golden time, roughly between 1999 and 2010, where the phone ad landscape was bizarre, sexy, and lawless. Nowadays it’s all minimalist, edgy wank bollocks. Let’s take a look at what it used to be like before we gave a shit.

Ericsson T18s (1999) Look at this fucking belter of an ad. A phone flanked by dildos, one of which is modeled after CORN ON THE COB. They put this on billboards. BILLBOARDS. It’s glorious. NEXT.

Nokia 5100 (1999) Nokia. Nokia. Nokia. Goddammit, Nokia. You were so fucking good back then. Giving us the power to change the color of our phone, and none of this ridiculous ‘bros gold’ either. Nokia colors were bold, gaudy, and my god did I want them all. These days, I have a case and screen protector for my precious phone. Back then I WILLINGLY SNAPPED OFF THE FRONT OF MY PHONE BECAUSE I FELT LIKE IT WAS A ‘MAUVE DAY’.

Nokia 5100 (1999) Boho was fucking awful for me because I wasn’t white and blonde (still not white), but I could rock a horrific boho-style phone cover. Just look at the state of this. “bohemian rhapsody” OH I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE, NOKIA, I C U OK.

Ericsson 788 (1999) “Contrary to popular belief, it’s better to have a small one” OH ERICSSON! It’s funny because it’s about penises, but also phones, but really…peen.

One2One (2000) For those of you close to the end of your life, you’ll remember that One2One was the name of a network we now know as T-Mobile and they made some solid ads. Look at this beauty. Those pants, THOSE PANTS. I’m going to get married in those pants just as soon as I find someone who will marry me in those pants.

Motorola StarTac (2000) Motorola getting in on that sweet dick joke action. “8cm and proud of it”, “Small size. Huge results”. What’s funnier is imagining the meeting room of men creaming themselves while coming up with these taglines.

Nokia 5510 (2001) Refreshingly honest. Yes, Nokia. It does look weird. Like a calculator fucked a universal remote control.

Nokia 3330 (2002) What the balls is going on here? They made the phone look like a fish carcass. Why? Because fuck you, that’s why. Nokia does what it wants.

Motorola Razr (2005) Remember this fucking phone? This thing was everywhere and it wasn’t even that good! YEAH I SAID IT SIT DOWN. You only had this phone for show and you know it. This ad though. This woman with a thin line of BLOOD on her cheek that looks like the profile of the Razr, but also looks like she’s been cut BY A RAZOR RAZOR. The levels this ad is working on my god. Then that tagline “fatally slim”. Christ, this phone will murder you.

Nokia N-Gage (2005) No idea what’s happening here. Looks dumb. That said, I’ve dated men who owned an N-Gage, so…I’m not above it.

Nokia N Series (2005) Nokia inceptioned us long before Dicaprio did. The N Series may have been a disaster, and god knows what “NOKIA map” looked like, probably like this. At least the ad is fun. I’m having fun.

Verizon Blackberry Pearl (2006?) Look at this gross finger/leg situation. Look at it. What was happening in that meeting room? So, you can type fast on a Blackberry sure, but how do we show the people? Got it! BY FINGERING A SHOE. FINGER A TINY SHOE, THAT’LL SHOW ‘EM.

AT&T (2009) HANDS! It’s all hands! These hands were fun. What happened, AT&T? You hate fun now? We hate you, AT&T.

Moose hands!

Paris hands!

Dragon hands?!

Russian ice-cream hands!

Creepy British man hands!

MyTouch 3G (2010) 2010 is when everything started going downhill for phone ads, but not before this little treasure right here. Be warned, this ain’t no ordinary phone ad, this is ONE HUNDRED PERCENT CLAPTON. ALL CLAPTON ALL THE TIME. His phone says “no” but his eyes say “also no”.

LG KU990 (2008) Here’s two snails fucking. Buy this phone.


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Amanda Rosenberg

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Writer. http://amandarosenberg.org



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