Last year, HTC hired Robert Downey Jr. to saunter his way through a strange filmic world, discovering alternate acronyms for the combined letters H, T, and C. The smartphone manufacturer's newest ad — for its recently released HTC One (M8) — also uses the talents of a Hollywood actor. It stars Gary Oldman, sat at a desk in a glass-and-chrome house that looks like it belongs in the Hollywood hills as he toys with, and talks about, his new HTC One.
HTC said last year that marketing was its greatest challenge, with Cher Wang, HTC's chairperson, saying her company's "communication does have a problem but we are improving on that." The new ad is certainly more coherent: where Downey Jr.'s ad was overblown and baffling, Oldman's is understated. The actor says it doesn't matter what he says about the phone, because the new HTC One is "designed for people who form their own opinions." To demonstrate his point, he fills most of the rest of the commercial's running time by repeating "blah," before suggesting people "ask the internet" what it thinks of the phone.
To save you the time of asking yourself: the internet likes it. The HTC One (M8) has great design and performance, but the question will be whether it's enough to rescue HTC, who has seen its market share drop precipitously over the last few years as competitors such as Samsung have encroached on its areas of business.