Although the brand is no more, Phones 4u was one of the UK’s most recognisable household high street names. Despite the company entering administration in 2014, its TV adverts remain memorable even years later. The phone retailer became known for its weird and wonderful adverts, which were often funny, strange or just plain odd.
Here are some of the best Phones 4u adverts from over the years for a trip down memory lane…
Scary Mary, 2008
Phones 4u was renowned for deals on mobiles and data contracts at first, but it became just as well-known for its adverts. In particular, it became synonymous with the hand gestures introduced by an American character who became a stalwart of Phones 4u branding.
Introduced in this now iconic 2008 advert alongside a recurring character ‘Scary Mary’, the Phones 4u hand gesture took on a life of its own, regularly featuring in phone TV adverts for the next six years.
This advert is a good introduction to the world of Phones 4u ads, which introduce weird and wacky characters as though they’re well-known fan favourites.
Flight of the Conchords, 2004
If there’s one thing you could expect from a Phones 4u advert, it was… well, weird. The company engaged the services of cult fan favourite New Zealand musical comedy legends Flight of the Conchords for their 2004 advert. Why? Why not?
The Kiwi duo – made up of Jemaine Clement ad Bret McKenzie – is on a bus tour of Britain in the advert. Passing by many of the nation’s most beloved landmarks, from the Angel of the North to the London Eye and Big Ben, the advert aims to emphasise how deals were available right across Great Britain.
Mainly, the advert succeeds in creating an earworm, catchy chorus that will be stuck in your head for hours after you watch it. You’ve been warned…
Car Park, 2011
As well as mastering the weird and funny adverts, Phones 4u dabbled in the mildly terrifying too. The company released this scary advert, set in the most chilling of locations – a dark, dank multi-storey car park.
As a woman makes her way back to her car after a hard day’s shopping, she catches something out of the corner of her eye. Is it a bird, a plane? It looks like a terrifying young girl ghost, dressed in quintessential ghoul garb complete with greasy hair, dark circles and creepy dress.
After the woman runs back to her car in a panic, she makes it inside only to find the young girl pressed against the window. Rather than curse her or threaten to drag her to the underworld, the ghost instead insists on sharing the news about Phones 4u’s scarily good deals on Samsungs.
Upgrades 4u, 2012
By 2012, we were getting pretty used to the odd, random, funny and quotable nature of the Phones 4U advert. As well as weird marketing, the phone company was known for upgrade deals on a range of networks. Enter this advert, made to showcase the ease and availability of phone upgrades right across the country.
With a signature voice over, the advert shows a wide range of zany characters – including a fisherman, an estate agent, a prisoner of house arrest, a cat lady, a busy shopper and a cyclist with shaven legs – hearing that they could upgrade their phones with Phones 4u.
The advert even has a celebrity cameo from former EastEnders soap star Dean Gaffney, finding out about upgrades at the bar of his local pub.
Scary Mary on the beach, 2012
Bringing together all the weird characters and bizarre vibes from previous adverts, this 2012 Phones 4u ad epitomises the brand perfectly.
Reuniting both Scary Mary and the Phones 4u American spokesman, the advert sees a wide array of beachgoers fly into a panic – a la Jaws – and flee the ocean. The American runs into Scary Mary, who is terrified and confused on how to get the best deals on her new phone.
Once she hears about the helpful team at Phones 4u and how they can assist in finding the right phone for her, Scary Mary is finally calmed. We’d hate to think about how she reacted when she found out about Phones 4u going bust…
Which Phones 4u adverts do you remember from over the years? Let us know in the comments!