Vodaphone Ringtone Music Commercial


When we first saw Vodaphone’s ringtone commercial where 1000 cell phones perform a section of the William Tell overture, we just assumed it was some slick video editing, not to be taken seriously. Apparently, we were wrong. They actually did this. They actually sent text messages to all the phones in correct timing to play the music.  In the video after the break, you can see some details on how they pulled it off. They had to perform this during non peak usage hours to ensure that all their texts went through. We think this project is pretty impressive. Actually, we still don’t know how they pulled it off, we can’t seem to predict how long a text message will take to reach its destination with any kind of reproducible accuracy.


[via Makezine]

22 thoughts on “Vodaphone Ringtone Music Commercial

  1. I would have imagined they’d set up their own private network somewhere in the next room. you’d need absolute network priority so think smaller. or even wired. And i heard tchaikovsky also.

  2. yeah, pretty much what he said. if you’re the company providing the service to hundreds of thousands, one would think you’d have a lab set up. let’s face it – if I were going to try to accomplish this same thing, that’s how I’d do it to, wouldn’t you?

  3. It’s an arrangement of a few different pieces, I think. I heard some Tchaikovsky in there as well.

    That is a pretty cool project, though. I’ve had dreams of doing the same thing with one of the computer labs at school(each computer playing a part for a different instrument).

  4. The making of video specifically states they had to do this between 1 and 6 am and the intro text specifically states they did it during off-peek hours. I would have to think then that this was done on the public network rather than a private lab. That is what make this truly impressive.

  5. I spoke with the director of this ad on Wednesday. I kept asking how they possibly could have synchronized that many cell phones… and he gave me a bunch of reasons already mentioned here (using a public network at off hours, etc). He finally admitted “it really only worked about 30-40% of the time, so we had to do a fair bit of post production”. He also had never heard of Golan’s project (the flong link above).

  6. doesn’t any of you know how a story/narrative is developed?
    “the making of” is also an advert, it tells you a storry while, quite literrary, flashing the product in your face. apparently they decided that this storry worked better.
    surly it got you talking about the product, it also got you feeling good, how your smarter then the companies scientists, you feel familiar with it.

    videoculture friendly extensive explanation:

  7. Wauw worlds biggest collection of shitty phones.

    Why do we expect that our phone will break after 2 years?

    Why do we accept that?

    I have a Nokia 1100 from 2003 and it still works, still has longer battery life than most modern phones. It has fallen into a pool and still works. I’ve dropped countless times, even flung it across a room once or twice.

    And it has Space Impact+ :-)

  8. These are clearly parts of Overture 1812 by Tsjaikovksi, at least thats how you write it in Dutch. The Germans write Tschai–. In Englisch its Tchai–, and a y at the end. French and Italians write it completely different; Apperently only the Russians know how to write it correctly :)
    BTW the overture has nothing to do with Willem Tell. The piece was written to commemorate Russia’s defense of Moscow against Napoleon’s advancing Grande Armée at the Battle of Borodino in 1812.
    The overture is best known for its climactic volley of real cannon fire and ringing chimes.

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