HTC has enlisted the help of Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr. in an effort to boost its brand. HTC has seen better days. It was a force to be reckoned with just a few years ago and since it was one of the first outfits to make great smartphones, it quickly gathered a cultish geek following.
That geeky image ended up being a bit of a problem for HTC, as the company’s phones were often associated with tech dullards who never got invited to parties. Samsung and Apple took a different, consumerish approach and it worked a lot better.
Iron Man to the rescue. Downey Jr. has signed a two year deal and he will be the face of the brand, thus helping it shake the geeky image. At least that is the plan. The slogan of HTC’s new push is “Here’s To Change,” and Downey Jr. will apparently deliver similar puns based on the HTC abbreviation in TV ads.
HTC’s marketing budget is about $1 billion per year, but the Taiwanese smartphone maker is being outspent by Samsung and Apple. HTC apparently has more than half a billion in its marketing budget left for the new Downey campaign.
In a chat with Marketing Magazine, Martin Kang, HTC’s head of marketing for EMEA, admitted that the company’s marketing could have been better.
“We’ve not been too good at promoting ourselves and we can’t be allowed to make the same mistakes,” he said. “Having this kind of asset in Robert Downey Jr. means we’re going to fire on all channels – social, TV and digital, with digital the core space.”
So what sort of HTC puns will be used in the campaign? Downey Jr. is supposed to play a high-powered and “somewhat bonkers” exec who comes up with various names using HTC as a starting point. “Hold This Cat,” “Hipster Troll Carwash” and “Happy Telephone Company.”
Although we’re by no means ad geniuses, we came up with a few of our own, designed specifically for Downey’s not so subtle off-screen persona – “Hide The Cocaine,” “Holier Than Christ” and “Heat That Crackpipe”.