If you remember the days when having a “transportable” telephone meant you had to carry around a powerpack the size of a beer cooler, then this collection of videos is going to send you down memory lane.
For anyone who doesn’t recall those golden years, this gallery is a fascinating insight into the cellphone technology of yesteryear. Commercials are like windows onto a society’s cultural mores. Here you can catch a glimpse of what was aspirational at the time.
Prepare yourself for some seriously retro tech, some cheesy commercial toons and some just plain awful hair and click through the gallery. Let us know in the comments below which ads are your favorites.
Let's face it. The only reason that woman can hide her humongous phone is because her hair is so big.
2. BT Cellnet Commercial
Ex-Doctor Who Tom Baker sells out, sorry, advertises BT Cellnet phones by comparing them to a Roman amphitheater. We don't really get it either.
3. Radio Shack Commercial
This phone is only "transportable" in the very loosest sense of the word.
4. Nokia Advert
Here, Nokia takes an unusual approach by promoting the cell phone as a high-tech little black book for sleazy yuppies.
5. General Electric Cell Phone Commercial
If you ever wondered why General Electric never made it big in the cell phone market, this advert from 1989 should help shed some light.
6. Motorola Flip Phone Commercial
Motorola's approach to flogging early cellphones was to highlight every single scenario in which such a device might prove useful. We get it already!
7. BT Pagers Advert
This ad is so bad it's good.
8. Centel Commercial
Billed on YouTube as the first cellphone ad, this ghastly video is all aspirational lifestyle and good looking, healthy and affluent people. It apparently didn't do Centel much good in the long run.
9. Qualcomm Commercial
Now this is just plain scary.
10. Motorola DynaTAC Commercial
We leave you with our favorite video of the lot. This informative clip from Motorola brings the news that eventually, "seeing people using cellular phones may seem as commonplace as someone checking time on an electronic watch." Bring on the "cellular revolution!"