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Pumping up the volume

The Beattie Campaign : it's you we answer to

In between Buzby and Bob Hoskins, British Telecom ran one of its most successful campaigns with actress Maureen Lipman playing a Jewish grandmother with a heart of gold, Beattie. Memorable Beattie moments including her being reduced to tears by her grandson's singing Happy Birthday, her reluctance to buy a dishwasher as it wasn't good enough for Mrs Jones and her reassuring comments to her grandson Anthony over his exam results in this advert.

The Beattie Campaign
Transcript

Beattie: Anthony? Oh congratulations on your exam results.

Anthony: Grandma, I failed.

Beattie: You failed? What do you mean you failed?

Anthony: I mean I failed - Maths, English, Physics, Geography, German, Woodwork, Art - failed.

Beattie: You didn't pass anything?

Anthony: Pottery, very useful.

Beattie: People will always need plates. Anything else?

Anthony: And sociology.

Beattie: An 'ology', he's got an 'ology' and he says he's failed. You're a scientist.

Narrator: Congratulations or commiserations, a phone call says it best.

Beattie: ... the brilliant boys. You know it's the teachers who are wrong, you know they can't mark, half of them can't see.

Narrator: British Telecom, it's you we answer to.

Stephen Hawking : ... communicating

Professor Stephen Hawking, known as the genius scientist who wrote 'A Brief History of Time', suffers from Motor Neurone Disease, which forces him to use a speech synthesizer to talk.

The message of this advert was therefore all the more powerful coming from a man who has such extraordinary understanding of the universe but is unable to communicate it through speech.

Stepehen Hawking
Transcript

Stephen Hawking: For millions of years mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination.

We learned to talk, we learned to listen. Speech has allowed the communication of ideas enabling people to work together ... to build the impossible.

Mankind's greatest achievements have come about by talking ... and its greatest failures by not talking.

It doesn't have to be like this.

Our greatest hopes could become reality in the future with the technology at our disposal - the possibilities are unbounded.

All we need to do is make sure we keep talking.

It's for you! : .. she loves me!.

The 'It's for you-hoo' slogan became well-known as a result of this series of adverts. This spoof on The Hunchback of Notre Dame followed a common theme in BT advertising - make a call - show someone you care.

It's for you!
Transcript

Quasimodo: Oh why was I born so ugly?
(Phone rings) The bells?

Voice off: It's for you!

Quasimodo: For me?

Crowd: It's for you!

Quasimodo: Esmeralda- she loves me!

Narrator: The phone, it's for you to make someone feel wanted.

fun and games

Can you beat our games? Explode equipment to see what's inside, hear the changing sounds of telecommunications, see how telecommunications designs have changed over time or send an e-postacard.

what's on

The UK's first permanent gallery dedicated to the history of information and communication technologies opens in the new Information Age gallery at London’s Science Museum.

audio history

Take a trip down memory lane with extracts of the interviews which have been recorded as part of the Connected Earth oral history programme.

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100 years of automatic switching!
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Discover the early days of the telephone...