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'Iron Man' Downey Jr to front HTC smartphones

Helen Wilson
13 Aug 2013
Downey Jr HTC
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Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer signs up Hollywood star for rebranding exercise

Smartphone giant HTC has announced that Robert Downy Jr is to front their newest marketing campaign, in a deal rumoured to be worth £12 million. He will front the "Here's to change" campaign when it rolls out across cinema and TV on August 15th after an initial YouTube launch. The campaign is part of a global rebranding project to replace HTC's long-running "Quietly Brilliant" strapline.

Teasers for the new adverts have appeared on YouTube

The advert - which underpins HTC's largest ever marketing effort - shows the actor playing the role of a creative director generating different acronyms for the company name, such as "Huge Tinfoil Catamaran" to impress a round table of executives. The actor is said to be fronting the debut of the company's first 'phablet' device, the rumoured HTC One Max, though details are very thin on the ground.

A LITTLE LOUDER PLEASE

HTC's recent handsets have been overshadowed by the much bigger budgets of Samsung and Apple. The company was a trailblazer for Android handsets but has struggled recently against far larger competitors. There has even been talk of a takeover of late, with Huawei and Lenovo being touted as possible buyers, though such a move would be tricky given the complicated ownership structure of the company, and its much revered status in Taiwan.

Downey Jr is well known for having resurrected his career after highly publicised drug and drink problems; notably in the role of Marvel's Iron Man, with the character giving Downey Jr a connection with the kind of high-tech gadgets HTC are trying to sell. HTC might be hoping for a similar resurrection in its fortunes, with sales of its handsets (despite critical approval) being less than stellar.

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