Robert Downey Jr. is Iron Man HTC’s only hope.

Today the Taiwanese smartphone maker is kicking off a massive ad campaign starring Downey to raise its media presence (and take on Apple and Samsung’s marketing muscle). HTC is spending close to $1 billion on the “Change” campaign — the same as its entire global marketing budget for last year — a company spokesperson tells Engadget.

Wisely playing on the idea that nobody knows what the heck the acronym HTC actually stands for, the ads feature Downey offering his own alternatives with his typical fast-paced dialog, like “Hold This Cat” and “Humongous Tinfoil Catamaran.” (His alternatives are certainly better than “High Tech Computer” Corporation, HTC’s former name.)

The Change campaign, which is expected to run for the next two to three years, is being spearheaded by HTC’s new chief marketing officer Ben Ho. Back in March, Ho was also the one who killed off HTC’s subtle marketing tagline, “Quietly Brilliant,” in exchange for something much louder.

With its consistently horrendous earnings, HTC certainly needs something big to turn its fortunes around. The company’s One smartphone is still the best Android phone on the market, but most consumers probably don’t even know it exists.

This campaign could finally make more people aware of HTC’s innovations — though if it fails, I’m not sure there’s much hope left for the company.

Below, check out a teaser of the full commercial, which will be revealed on August 15.


VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative technology and transact. Our site delivers essential information on data technologies and strategies to guide you as you lead your organizations. We invite you to become a member of our community, to access:
  • up-to-date information on the subjects of interest to you
  • our newsletters
  • gated thought-leader content and discounted access to our prized events, such as Transform 2021: Learn More
  • networking features, and more
Become a member