If you're a mobile phone brand, how do you address the growing negative publicity around phones? Some try to join the club by encouraging people to switch their phones off sometimes (like this 2015 Verizon holiday ad). But in a humorous new spot, U.K. mobile brand Three takes aim at the phone haters by imagining how different history might have turned out with the benefit of smartphones.
The ad, by Wieden & Kennedy London, recreates famous historical moments such as the sinking of the Titanic; in the new version, the captain averts disaster by seeing the iceberg ahead on a traffic app. Then there's Henry the Eighth, flicking through Tinder to choose his wives and discarding most of the ones he divorced or beheaded. There are also cavemen ordering Deliveroo, Eve resisting the serpent because she's eyeing up Adam on Instagram, someone filming Moses parting the Red Sea and more.
Ian Pons Jewell directed the spot via Friend, and it will break first on mobiles via Twitter, followed by other social platforms, digital, TV, cinema and OOH. To support the campaign, Three has also commissioned London painter Reuben Dangoor, famed for painting today’s grime artists in seventeenth century grandeur, to exclusively reimagine historical figures and paintings with social media profile pictures. The paintings will be exhibited at a bespoke gallery in Soho, London from October 26-27.
Shadi Halliwell, Chief Marketing Officer at Three, says in a statement: “At a time when we are being told to get off our phones, Three’s customers are actually using them three and a half times more than other providers. That’s because, unlike others, we understand how real people use their phones."