Just over 30 years ago, on 1 January 1985, while standing in London’s Parliament Square, Michael Harrison called his father Sir Ernest Harrison, the founder of Vodafone, using the (barely) portable Vodafone VT1—a moment that would go down as Britain’s first commercial mobile phone. Over the next three decades mobile phone technology would progress and proliferate and become a ubiquitous part of the modern landscape.
At approximately 4.7 kilograms, the VT1 wasn’t necessarily the most user friendly device, but, according to Mashable, it captured the public’s imagination and led to the sale of over 12,000 units—something that was especially impressive given that each hefty device carried a price tag of £2,000.
To commemorate this event, Vodafone UK has now launched a quirky spot that takes a look back at the VT1 through the eyes of modern advertisers. Featuring all the tropes of current tech adverts, the clip draws attention to an innovative product that is the size and weight of a small dog, it lets you chat for ten minutes after ten hours of charging overnight and it even lights up so you can dial in the dark.
And to give the product a further push, Vodafone also brought in the ever-reliable David Hasselhoff to discuss the parallels between cellular technology and the science fiction that spawned Knight Rider.