Here is some embeds from the Web on the subject of Telephony
AT&T Spirit Commercial, 1988
An owner pizza restaurant likely in the Southland (notice the map behind the man) shows how he’s a “nice guy” when his business got a phone system that required a “brain surgeon” to figure out. Can we blame the Japanese like NEC or even Mitel in those days just for the sake of it? Even those tech-savvy kids from the 80s “needed the instruction manual.” The commercial ended with a doom warning customers to go to a reliable solution from AT&T with their Spirit system, that even a kid can set up within minutes. The Spirit was on the market from 1987 to the early 90s, the system was marketed against the Merlin and later the Partner Communications systems; so few sites were users, at least from what I’ve experienced.
AT&T’s Definity 75/85 Commercial With a Flying Train
Aired likely in the very end of the 1980s, this commercial features the System 75 and System 85 systems, but for a period of time, it was branded apparently as “Definity 75” and “Definity 85”. Perhaps this was aired outside of the States or it was a layman marketing strategy; since AT&T rebranded these two PBX switches, a one fully TDM digital PBX and one half digital, as Definity Generic 1 and 3 (System 75) and Generic 2 (System 85)
AT&T MERLIN System, 1983
Featuring the voice of the late movie trailer announcer, Hal Douglass (or an impersonator), this 60 second plug shows every 10 year old’s dream of having a phone system! The Merlin will go down in history of being an artifact of the 80s technical culture as such phones were featured in TV and film during that time.
AT&T’s Do It Yourself Movement, mid 1980s.
Back before there were AT&T stores for cell phones, AT&T had Phone Center Stores for consumers to purchase telephones, as the requirement to “lease” was starting to fade away, and especially after the Divesture in 1984. As the AT&T Tech Channel’s YouTube described in 2012, these offerings made it easier for customers to install equipment themselves, since wait times from the Bell companies were ether too long, or they had inconvenient scheduling avalibilities with the customer or Bell themselves. That video, was pretty laughable because it was very cheesy and looked to not be released to the public. Similar to those infamous sexual harassment videos!
The embedded video is just plain laughable about the sexism as of 1985. The wife goes to the Phone Center, gets her stuff, comes home and rushes to get the phone set up before the husband gets into the house! Whats even more funnier is how he looks down at his wife like “I didn’t think ladies could wire up phones” then at the end of the first clip saying “you could even fix the patio light.”
Enterprise Promotional Video: Northern’s Porche Case Study, late 1980s.
Around the late 1980s, Northern Telecom (later Nortel to be part of Avaya) produced a video featuring the head of their MIS unit showing off how their SL-1 PBX was capable of fusing data and voice applications into an integrated platform. The system integrated couple of other sites in the US on the same network and call users across the company as if they were calling within the same building. At the time, this was cutting edge to have caller ID, and do more on a set compared to a 2500 or 500 set. This system would be depreciated by 1988, as the Meridian 1 platform would be released into general market. The SL1 however was the foundation to the Norstar system for the small business market. Frequent follower, Joe the UCX Guy also posted a little summary of this same video on his site in 2015.