HTC enlists Robert Downey Jr. for billion-dollar marketing campaign

Samsung's Android dominance sent the profits of fellow smartphone manufacturer HTC into a nosedive, but the company is betting big on a new marketing campaign featuring the actor best known for portraying Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr.

In the first of a series of new advertisements, Downey advises the company, which was originally named High Tech Computers Corporation, to change its name to "Humongous Tinfoil Catamaran," and future commercials will see the actor recommend the names "Hipster Troll Carwash" and "Hold This Cat." The campaign will officially kick off on Aug. 15, when it will hit a variety of media platforms, including television, social media and more.

HTC says the campaign will last two to three years, with the first phase of ads touting the company's name. The second phase will tout features of the company's smartphones, such as its BoomSound speakers, while the third phase will focus on how the company's devices "empower individuals to drive change in their own lives." According to Engadget, an HTC representative said the company is investing about $1 billion in this advertising campaign alone, which equates to HTC's entire budget for global marketing last year.

The campaign comes at a unique point for HTC, as the company is predicting Q3 2013 will mark its first quarterly loss ever. HTC's recently released One smartphone received positive reviews, though its Android market share remains well behind Samsung. The company also competes in the Windows Phone market, where it is a distant second to Nokia.

Source: HTC (YouTube) via Engadget

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So, that first commercial of 16 seconds cost HTC what? 200 Million? I think it should have been longer, like 45 seconds. Additional time should have been spent saying what HTC stands for, then RDJ coming and and saying to rename the company. I watched it, and I think it's too fast for anyone to grasp what he was trying to do.

So they can spend $1B to market their stuff, but can't afford to keep their products updated. Yeah, how's that working out for you, HTC?

HTC thinks he's hugely popular right now and will get them enough attention to make consumers recognize their brand more. They aren't wrong. But the question is, is the money well spent or could they have used it more in R&D? Time will tell I suppose.

People won't buy the phone just because of the celebrity. Smart consumer just need to know how much value will they get by buying your product rather than brain wash by the clueless celebrity that barely know which is a better phone.

Well HTC One is already a greatly reviewed phone that get universal acclaim. So marketing for them is Huge. Everyone wants S4 because the ads are everywhere and Galaxy is a household name everyone know.s

I absolutely like the HTC One design especially with the aluminum. But using this celebrity isn't gonna work when it only last less than 20 second. It's not a smart investment.

The add works. Associating your product with a cool franchise like iron man ESP rdj... And the htc one is a good phone. But it's let down in no sd slot. And no removable battery as well as ergonomics. Fix those things and your talking. As it is now its just an ok phone that could have been great. Like the s4. Not quite the next iphone killer.

compared to iphone itself, S4 and One are great. and 5s will not be a change enough to top that.

plus iphone does not have SD or removable battery either.. so i fail to see the point you are making, by bringing up iphone in an android discussion

Celebrities have helped companies before. Just their name mentioned is enough. Robert Downey JR is popular right now. Who knows.

As long as the products are not "bad", then good marketing almost always means more sales, some of the worst products on the planet have huge sales simply due to marketing. It does take a little time to get branding and image established, 2-3 years is ambitious. They can't afford to stumble with any of their high end product line during this time or it'll just turn into a sad joke, but if they get it right Samsung might need their own superhero to help out.

Uhhmm... Shouldn't they be spending more money backing their products then they are for a marketing campaign? HTC doesn't exactly have the best track record when it comes to supporting their devices....

How about spending that extra money putting more quality into your devices. Especially your windows phone devices. The camera in the 8X is a joke for indoor and low light photos.