After seeing these hilarious ads that promote expensive technology, we realize we’ve come a long way. It’s humorous that people went this far as to create and build these sorts of inventions. Most of them probably didn’t even work, hence the reason they’re now obsolete. In any case, we can thank them for paving the way to the technology we have today. Without these beginnings of trial and error, we would never have our new iPhones or MacBook Airs. We had to start somewhere, and at the very least, we get a good laugh out of it.
We can see right through hilarious ads that claim to save you a bunch of money. Though obsolete, this ad is still one of the funniest we’ve seen. If you read the small print, it first grabs you by claiming you can get $2,000 worth of capabilities for your Commodore 64. They say it’ll “open up a whole new world of hardware and software for you!” Then it lists a bunch of perks that are completely obsolete today. Look at that huge, hunky piece of technology! It’s laughable compared to what we have today (Mashable).
In huge letters, this ad claims that “if you can afford a television, now you can afford a Betamax.” Their ad claims it’s the lowest-priced Sony Betamax out there, with superb quality, color, and sound. Compared to what we have today, it’s funny that these even existed. This is one of those hilarious ads that make you appreciate your flat-screen TV much more. We can’t even imagine watching a movie using one of those chunky pieces of technology! How did we ever get through it? (Retrodust)
The name says it all. Imagine watching something called magnavision? It sounds like one of those hilarious ads that are fake and don’t exist. It sounds like a superhero about to jump out of your TV screen and save the planet. By the looks of the picture, it doesn’t seem like the quality of the TV is that great. You can watch television in slow motion and reverse, so you know you’re getting quite a unique experience (Pinterest).
Why have one, when you can have two for one? These kinds of hilarious ads think they can combine two completely different kinds of technology. The description says, “it is amazing what passed as a good advertising strategy back in the early days of the media. Some of the ads are zany, some are incredibly politically incorrect, and others are downright dangerous.” This is completely dangerous. Not only could the technology short-circuit, but it could go up in flames. If that happened, you wouldn’t have a television or a telephone (RF Cafe).
When hilarious ads claim things like it’s a “strange world of super pressure,” you know you’re in for a laugh. They claimed this huge disc provides thrills like windsurfing as if you’re doing it in real life. The description says, “just like a DVD, but huge and unwieldy like an LP! The best were the ones where you had to flip the disc over halfway through the film. Just imagine how hard it would have been.” Imagine being in the middle of a movie, only to have to flip over the disc? How annoying! Talk about one way to pull you out of a good movie. It’s humorous that people sought these kinds of technology in the past. We’ve come a long way (Pinterest).
Not only are we seeing hilarious ads with obsolete pieces of technology, but we’re seeing ads claiming they’re “Reggievision.” This is a “1980 Panasonic Omnivision Video Recording System original vintage advertisement. With endorsement by Reggie Jackson, who would rather the system be known as Reggievision.” During the 80s, Reggie claimed his way to fame. What better way to make your name known than calling an invention from Panasonic after yourself (Adclassic)?
This is certainly a time capsule for technology. We all know Radio Shack and know they were one of the leading stores for technology in past decades. But the company had too many stores that cannibalized revenues from each other and generated losses. RadioShack failed to adapt and stay relevant when most electronics sales shifted online, and the retailer was stuck in brick-and-mortar locations only. But before that, they used to have hilarious ads for their equipment. Just look at that phone! It’s a huge brick that probably weighed several pounds. You can save $800 on that thing, which is now worth at most $20. With this ad, they let us know right up front we could save $800. You’d have to be blind to miss it (Pinterest).
Hilarious ads that take a spin on old tales deserve an award, just like this one. Not only did Apple make a great ad, but they also said, “we’re looking for the most original use of an Apple since Adam.” If you’re confused, just think about Adam and Eve and the forbidden fruit. Get it? Their ad even says, “what in the name of Adam do people do with Apple computers? You tell us, in a thousand words or less.” Talk about clever! They’re taking these ads for a ride, and even say you can win a fabulous prize for creative writing (Pinterest).
This guy looks like he’s doing a magic trick, but he’s just the star of one of these hilarious ads. Their tagline reads it’s “high speed information transportation.” We’re not sure how highspeed this technology is, considering it existed during the 80s, but it must’ve been ahead of its time. They say, “your mailbox is the terminal on your desk.” It sounds like they were trying to be something they’re not. We can give them credit for trying, though. At least their ad had some sort of impact (Mashable).
This is one of those hilarious ads that promise you the world. You better be careful, because it’s now obsolete. The ad reads, “The Texas Instruments Home Computer gives you a tutor, an accountant, a librarian, a file clerk, and a pro football team in your own home.” We’re not sure we’d want any of that in our own home, considering it’s a safe space. Having a private tutor or accountant is great, but a pro football team? We get what they’re trying to say, but they may be trying just a bit too hard. Maybe they should stick to simplicity next time (Mashable).
This is one of the scariest, most hilarious ads on this list. A screaming sneaker? That alone is enough to make us run away in the opposite direction, let alone buy the product. It’s supposed to represent a person in their 1980s running gear, with the headband and all. They even went so far as to put a nose on it. It must be jamming to some freaky tunes like Michael Jackson because it’s dancing around with its tongue out. We can’t even imagine what this thing costs, but what we know for certain is that it’s now obsolete (Mashable).
With this ad, you can save a whopping $98. That’s a lot of money, and back then that was worth even more. It claims you can get 16K more memory for almost one hundred bucks less than you paid last year. Sign us up! Still, this is one of those hilarious ads that say things like “it’s like having the cosmos at your fingertips” and “for out-of-this-world fun, you can’t top it.” We’re pretty sure technology today has topped all that sort of fun, but we’ll keep that to ourselves (Pinterest).
Look at those phones! Compared to what we have today, these are incredibly obsolete. They’re as big as a brick and probably weigh a ton. Imagine sticking that into your purse, or trying to bring that on a night out? These hilarious ads just keep getting better and better. Their ad reads, “get Santa-sized savings on our newest, most advanced products.” What is Santa sized? We chuckled at that claim, but appreciate their efforts. AT&T has come a long way since this ad (Pinterest).
From the very beginning, we can tell this is one of those hilarious ads that try to say something funny, but it ends up sounding cringe. They said, “Sony turns eensy into eensy-weensy.” But it doesn’t stop there. It goes on to say, “this is an actual-size photo of the eensiest, teensiest, weensiest cassette player ever made – the new Sony Super Walkman. The only thing that isn’t teensy weensy is the sound.” We imagine it’s incomparable to what we have today with our Airpods, but we’ll give them an A for effort (Pinterest).
According to this ad, the Dictater is “an electronic marvel that’s fast, simple, and efficient!” It’s priced at $220.00. Today, it’s probably worth about ten bucks. These hilarious ads know how to entertain us. The accessories include a deluxe carrying case, an earphone with a phone loop, magnetic tape, a mailing carton, and an automobile inventor. All of that is either nonexistent or obsolete today. If you grew up with these, then looking at these ads must bring back the memories (Pinterest).
Betamovie is the brand name for a range of consumer grade camcorders developed by Sony for the Betamax format. By “camcorder” is understood a single unit comprising a video camera and a video recorder. Even though this is in another language, we can tell it’s one of those obsolete, hilarious ads from way back when. At the very least, cameras today have come a long way and may even resemble these old cameras in subtle ways. The 1980s were ahead of their time (Pinterest).
Hilarious ads that speak to you should win a prize. The ad captured our attention by asking a simple question. They go so far as to answer the question in the first sentence, and say, “if your answer to our question was no, maybe you should change your plans.” This sounds like an absolute challenge. Then, they say, “maybe you should plan to buy the Panasonic Swing-Way instead.” But it doesn’t stop there. This ad keeps getting funnier. They say, “the Swing-Way is like something out of a James Bond movie.” Now, we’re talking! That alone is enough to make us purchase this if it was two decades ago (Pinterest).
According to one of the most hilarious ads on this list, you’ll get an “instant answer, immediate proof” with the printable calculator. We’ve never heard of anything like this existing, so it comes as no surprise that it’s now obsolete. It’s incredibly funny, and says “the problem and its proof in his hands at once.” When an instant answer is needed, we can count on this calculator. Luckily, there are much better alternatives today, so we don’t have to rely on this chunky piece of technology (Pinterest).
This uses an “accent on flexibility” and promises “high performance”’ with its “quality tape performance.” Seriously, it looks like something you would find in a dry cleaner. To get the full facts on the Viking 86 Series, you have to write to them. We can’t even imagine how long that must take. Imagine trying to use this, having a question, and having to mail a letter to their office for a response? No thanks! We appreciate the technology we have today (Pinterest).
This ad claims “The Handle” is the “nicest thing you can give a pair of hands.” We’re sure there are nicer things in this world that you can give to a pair of hands. Maybe back then, this was all they had. Seeing these kinds of hilarious ads makes us appreciate technology today. It goes on to say, “nothing makes hands happier than The Handle.” (Read Write).
We all love film. It gives pictures a certain type of beauty that digital photos don’t capture. According to this ad, “it’s always summer in snapshots.” We like that idea! It goes on to say, “you’ll feel the carefree spirit of the summer day every time you look at your snapshots. Your family, your friends, your trips, and your holidays.” Little did these people know that we don’t have to rely on film any longer. We appreciate the model’s efforts, though, and this is certainly one of those hilarious ads that could end up on Instagram (Read Write).
Portadeck is a portable VCR player. With a “single cable disconnect, Portadeck is ready to go wherever you are.” When we compare these obsolete, hilarious ads to what we have today, it’s extremely entertaining. We can’t even imagine lugging one of these things around and calling it portable. She looks like she’s carrying a purse for a robot. They go on to say it’s the “smallest, lightest, best-looking VCR we’ve ever developed.” Back then, sure, but nowadays there are a lot more options (Pinterest).
Let’s take a look at the woman on the bottom right. She seems eager to promote these cameras, and we can’t help but love her. These hilarious ads know how to make us laugh! There are three Pronto! cameras to choose from. It also says, “you can shoot as fast as every 1.5 seconds,” which seems like a snail’s pace compared to what we have today. They even emphasize the fact that you’ll get clear and crisp photos with the magnifier glass hovering over the photograph (Pinterest).
Not only is this a faster copier with a lower cost, but apparently, it’s dry. They claim they’re a “significant new advance in office copying methods.” Better yet, you can get a rushed book to you by using “the attached postage-paid air mail card” that’ll rush your free book to you. It sounds too good to be true. You can make up to 200 copies using regular paper, and better yet, it copies everything. Handwriting was so yesterday (Pinterest).
With the Lemington brand, you’ll get a “letter-riter,” a “travel-riter,” and even a cash register. Which one do you want to choose? The Letter-riter looks like it’s for home and school use, and the travel-riter is portable and helps with traveling. It’s durable and portable, even though it probably takes up most of your backpack. These hilarious ads are certainly entertaining, especially when we compare a Macbook Air to that typewriter. It must’ve been more stressful carrying it around than not (Pinterest).
With this copying machine, you’ll get copies in only four seconds. The guy in the middle reminds us of the four fingers he’s holding up, as if in disbelief. These hilarious ads just keep getting better. The three of them stand over state-of-the-art technology and try to convince us to buy their product. It claims we can make copies in “four seconds by electricity alone.” We can’t help but chuckle, considering how far we’ve come since then. If only the three of them could see what we have nowadays (Pinterest).
Stop right there. We can’t take this ad seriously. The woman holding the plug is giving us a death glare, and we can’t help but laugh. What are these hilarious ads thinking? We’re unsure why this woman would sit on the floor with two of these stereo receivers, but there she is. It claims that “there’s much more to all the new AKAI stereo receivers than just great cosmetics.” We don’t see what’s so aesthetically pleasing about this piece of equipment, but other people may disagree. They finish the ad off by telling us to “plug it in. And listen.” Little do they know, we don’t need to plug anything in today to listen to it. Thanks, Bluetooth! (Pinterest)
With the new Apeco Uni-Matic, you can copy everything in seven colors. That doesn’t seem like a lot, but back then it must’ve been ahead of its time. Seeing these hilarious ads makes us appreciate living in the 21st century, with all the technological advancements we have today. The best part about this ad, though, is the tiny photo of the woman in the top right. Her arms are sticking out at a strange, uncomfortable angle, and she looks almost like an alien. And her goofy face in the actual ad says it all (Pinterest).
One of the most hilarious ads on this list claims it made a whopping discovery by creating a cash register that “figure your change!” No more needing any math skills. It goes on to say, “these registers complete the cycle of protection for both customer and store. They show, at the top of the register and on the receipt, that every step of the sale is handled correctly.” That sounds like an intense discovery of that time, considering it’s completely obsolete nowadays. We’re happy with our iPhones and built-in calculators, thanks (Pinterest).
This was a typewriter ahead of its time. These hilarious ads claim their piece of technology is the greatest thing ever invented when it’s the complete opposite. It says you get a “completely jam-free operation even at the top typing speed of nine characters a second.” You’ll have many different options, new flexibility, and new automation. What could get better than that? Not only is the text entertaining, but the woman in the photograph takes the cake. We’re unsure of how she relates to the typewriter, but for some reason, they thought she’d be a good fit (Pinterest).
These hilarious ads love playing on words. This one, in particular, says, “don’t listen to squares. Listen to Stones, Doors, Steppenwolf, the whole AM scene.” We appreciate their cleverness in promoting their radio, now completely obsolete. It goes on to say that “it may be a ball, but this radio’s no toy. It’s all Solid State. Has a speaker powerful enough to blow your mind.” If only they knew the sort of speakers we have today, their minds would be blown. They even say “another feature our little oddball has for you. The price. It’s as hip as the shape.” It must be a pretty affordable piece of technology, then (Pinterest).
This is one of the most hilarious ads on this list. The woman alone makes the entire ad. She looks like she’s about to go on a mission to outer space. We can’t imagine this hairdryer existing today, and frankly, we’re glad it’s obsolete. On a side note, is it safe to be on the phone while using that hairdryer? They claim their hairdryer “dries hair fast, is quieter, more comfortable than any other home hair dryer on the market.” It works just like a professional hairdryer, though we’re not sure who would want that in their bathroom. It would take up way too much space (Pinterest).
Look at that chunky piece of technology! These are the kinds of hilarious ads we can appreciate, considering we’ve come such a long way since then. We’re not sure how this is portable at all, but it claims it is. It must weigh several pounds. We wouldn’t even bother carrying around a phone if it looked like that. It costs a whopping $1199. That’s as much as an iPhone! It has some great features and accessories that make it stand out from the rest of the crowd (Pinterest).
This ad claims you can “put music in your walls,” and have “music all through your home.” We don’t want to put music on our walls if it looks like that, and are pretty happy with our tiny speakers that are probably ten times more powerful than that was. The woman in the ad seems happy with her musical walls and even demonstrates how to use them. Honestly, it’s a good thing this technology is obsolete nowadays. They took up way too much space and were obnoxiously large (Pinterest).
This is “the world’s first space-age word game,” where you can “have fun trying to outsmart the built-in electronic brain!” That game looks like it belongs in outer space on another planet, like Mars. Who thought of that design, and how do you even use it? It doesn’t look like any fun at all. They say it’s “another name for fun and games.” At least the fun and games have come a long way since then because if that was our only means of entertainment nowadays, there’d be something seriously wrong (Pinterest).
It looks like this is one of the first waterproof cameras invented. It can “take it when others can’t,” which means it can take photographs of people in the water when other cameras can’t. That’s quite clever, and we appreciate anything waterproof. The photographs of people using the camera are funny, and it says you can “take the camera snorkeling or sailing, climbing or camping, skiing or surfing, and lots of other places.” That’s a bold claim! Not many cameras except the GoPro can even do that nowadays. Maybe this is the ancestor of GoPro (Pinterest).
There’s nothing mini about this tape recorder. It has “automatic shutoff, dual-power, and pushbutton recording,” which makes it one of the top pieces of technology back then. It’s priced at forty bucks, and you can save $20. That thing looks incredibly robotic and not something we’d want to carry around (Pinterest).
Is this an ad for a music player or lingerie? She seems content sitting with her portable music box on her bed, but it looks like she’s trying to promote something different. It’s one of those hilarious ads that make us laugh. It even says “you’ll be proud of the beautiful styling of the sturdy, weather-resistant cases. Make your choice the choice of millions.” It is stylish, although a little too big for our liking (Pinterest).
Again, we’re seeing one of the most hilarious ads on this list. She looks like she should be in an ad for The Terminator, given she’s half-naked and holding a piece of technology that looks like it belongs to a robot. It looks like it has a powerful sound system, though, and was certainly one of the best pieces of technology for that time. This ad doesn’t capture the essence of the stereo, though (Pinterest).
This ad claims you’ll get “boom box fever” with this piece of obsolete technology. Maybe the family in the photograph has boom box fever. That doesn’t sound like something we’d want to catch it sounds pretty unpleasant. They have an “electronic showplace” and a bunch of different designs. At least the family looks like they’re getting a lot of enjoyment out of the boom box, given they have boom box fever and all (Pinterest).
This woman looks like she’s on her way to a huge space mission. It only weighs fifteen pounds, which is the weight of a small child. That doesn’t sound appealing at all. How could you possibly carry around fifteen pounds on your shoulder for longer than an hour? Talk about back pain! The woman in the ad seems content, though, and looks like she’s ready to carry around that VPR-5 all day. These hilarious ads think they found some of the best technology out there, but are obsolete (Pinterest). (Pinterest).
This is the “automatic telephone answerer,” which is “so nice to come home to.” They didn’t have any iPhones back then, so there was no way they could respond to a quick text message. Back then, they had to jump through way more loops than we do. It even says, “you play them back leisurely, enjoying the happy talk, the familiar voices.” Happy talk sounds a little bit strange, but we’ll go with it. It’s just one of those hilarious ads that don’t make that much sense (Daily Mail).
The woman’s face in this ad is the most hilarious part of it. Just look at that smile! It looks a little bit too fake for our liking. How do you even use that thing? It looks like you need a lot of skill to operate it. They reduced their prices, so you only have to pay $327.88. Compared to what we pay for televisions today, that seems extremely cheap. But they always say, you get what you pay for! (Daily Mail)
Imagining people whipping this out and using it to calculate their expenses it’s pretty hilarious. Considering we have calculators on our iPhones, this seems useless. There’s a reason it’s become obsolete. It “weighs less than 9oz, is rechargeable, and has a clear entry key.” At least people back then were able to use this with ease! These hilarious ads seriously showcase technology that looks like it belongs on another planet (Daily Mail).