Phones 4u brings back hand gesture in £8m ad campaign

Phones 4u is unveiling an £8m integrated advertising campaign called “Hard Working Prison Guards”, which will see the return of the Phones 4u hand gesture.

The move comes after the retailer dropped its “Jack” character from TV ads, instead focusing on the theme of peer group approval.last year.

The new ad has been created by Adam & Eve and launches tonight (17 May). It aims to reinforce the lengths that Phones 4u will go to find the right phone for absolutely anyone.

The TV ad features a group of Bangkokprison guards, who although should be minding their prisoners, can’t help being distracted by the features of the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10. It will run across a number of key channels and programmes, aimed at the 16-24 year-old youth market,during popular shows such as Glee, Friends, Britain’s Got Talent and Hollyoaks, which were chosen by Eden – a joint venture between Adam & Eve and the7stars who were appointed to the account in January.

In addition to the TV executions, the new campaign will run across a number of media channels including press, radio, via the KISS FM sponsorship, across Facebook and Twitter, PR activity and an in-store campaign.

Russell Braterman, Phones 4u marketing director, told Marketing Week: “We wanted to continue to be a youth focused brand whose heritage is built on humour wit an underlying message that no matter who you are, we have the phone for you. This campaign reinforces our unique and mischievous nature in tone and theme, which is what our customers have come to not only expect but love about Phones 4u.”

“We want to continue to be attention grabbing. The hand gestures have been reintroduced following high consumer demand. It’s a great mechanism for us to make customers remember us, as the challenger brand in our retail space. We want to continue to make fun of the world around us, but also focus on the smartphones available that our target consumers want to be aware of.”

Jon Forsyth, Founding Partner at Adam & Eve, adds: “We have created a campaign with a distinctive story that not only heroes the brand’s cheeky tone, but differentiates Phones 4u from the rest of the mobile marketplace.”

Last August, Phones 4u went head-to-head with O2 in the financial services market, with the launch of two Mastercard prepaid cards.

Adam & Eve was appointed in January last year to handle the £7m advertising account following a three-way pitch against Mother and incumbent WCRS.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here