Apr 08 AT 12:05 PM Nick Gray 12 Comments

Robert Downey Jr. returns to promote the HTC One (M8) – this time it’s serious


Not digging the Gary Oldman commercial for the HTC One (M8)? A new clip posted to HTC’s YouTube channel gives us the impression that we’re going to be seeing a lot more of Robert Downey Jr. in the near future. We’re not exactly sure if this is a commercial that will be getting  air time on TV, because it looks like it’s quite random, but we do have to admit that there’s a certain appeal to Robert Downey Jr. commanding us to buy the HTC One (M8).

For HTC’s sake, we hope that it can sort out its One (M8) marketing strategy and deliver something that will compel people to buy the phone. Do you want to see the return of the Hipster Troll Carwash or should HTC go back to its roots and give us a new take on the You campaign?

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. Nick joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • Dan

    HTC – makes nice devices, still can’t do marketing to save their lives.

    The Robert Downey Jr. ads for last year’s One are a perfect example: you get a guy at the peak of his pop cultural relevance coming off of Iron Man 1-3, Avengers, Sherlock Holmes to be the spokesman for your phone…and all of the ads are dumb jokes about how nobody knows what HTC stands for, with virtually nothing about the phone.

    The Oldman ads are arguably a step in the right direction, but they still verge on the nonsensical in some respects. “This phone is for those who form their own opinions, so go ask people on the internet what they think of it.” Huh? Irony is not a justification for incoherence.

    For that matter, even the naming scheme of HTC’s recent flagships is confusing to consumers. They had the One X and One S, then followed them with a device just called the One. Then the successor to the One is also called the One, but they put M8 in parentheses in the advertising to distinguish it from the previous model, but nobody except phone geeks knew the 2013 iteration was the M7. Samsung, by contrast, builds brands people recognize (Galaxy S, Note) and adds one to the number every year. Dull but straightforward and understandable.

    • Tangent

      ” “This phone is for those who form their own opinions, so go ask people on the internet what they think of it.” Huh? Irony is not a justification for incoherence.”

      That’s not how I took what he was saying in the commercial at all. I took it more like “Form your own opinion. Or be a sheep and ask people on the internet”

      Gotta agree with you on the naming though…

  • 99steven

    Is he on the coke again?

  • surethom

    Htc are useless at making adverts they need to sake there advertising department.

    • surethom

      Please androidandme, can you add a edit option, so many misspellings I can’t edit.

    • Dan

      The thing that makes it worse is that it is almost certainly not a marketing department at HTC which is responsible for this, at least not solely responsible. They are undoubtedly paying an outside advertising agency millions upon millions of dollars to create these campaigns.

  • CJ


  • SubX

    Robert Downey Jr is not the type of person that should be used to promote phones. He is a nobody! Yes people Mau have heard of him but to say he is extremely famous is garbage. I don’t even know the face to put to the name. Nor do I want to.

    If HTC want to really market their products, they need better strategies. This “Go check on the internet” plug is rubbish. Consumers want to know about the phone, know what it can do, know it’s specs right there an then. This should be provided in the ad. Being told to search the net for it going to turn people away.

    HTC, pull your heads in. Market your products correctly. Then you might pull your selves from the hole.

    I will always buy your phones. I use nothing but HTC, so I don’t want to see you collapse due to stupid advertising with not so popular idiots.

    • Dan

      Sorry, if you can’t put a face with Robert Downey Jr.’s name that’s on you. He is, indeed, extremely famous, due to his roles in the highly Marvel superhero franchise films over the past several years. He is a ‘good get’ to be the face of your product. But simply having his face in ads that are garbage is not enough, and most of the HTC ads he’s been in have been garbage.

      The approach you suggest of listing all the specs of the phone in the ads is equally mistaken, however. The general public (as opposed to people like us who read smartphone gossip blogs) don’t understand or care about specs except on a very vague and dumbed-down level. You can get some mileage out of saying ‘our phone has a prettier screen’ or ‘our phone runs apps faster’, but the average consumer doesn’t know what, for example, a Snapdragon 801 is and doesn’t want to. They want to see features of the phone and how the paper specifications translate into things they will actually want to do with the phone in their daily lives. This, again, is where Samsung succeeds and HTC fails – Samsung’s ads make the features of their devices look cool, even ones that in reality turn out to be gimmicky. I cannot think of a single ad for the One M7 or M8 that effectively showed off a feature of the phone that sets it apart – except perhaps the one for the front-facing speakers with the bands playing with their backs to the audience, which was one of the better M7 ads.

  • anon

    I thought that the HTC’s YOU campaign was really good, and highlighted the individuality and customisability of their Android smartphone. I really missed them, and I hope HTC will do something similar. Just having a celebrity holding your phone and mentioning HTC is not good enough for me. I mean, what is the message behind their recent ads?

    “You don’t need to get a phone. You need a phone that gets YOU”

    I thought that tagline was brilliant. It certainly is iconic and memorable, even years after they first used it. (Just found out the HTC YOU campaign started in 2009, 5 years ago and I can still remember their commercials – just shows how good that was)

  • Namaste

    This is not the right way to showcase the M8. Its a total miss and I really hope they stop doing this. It didnt work last year and its not gonna work this year. Show off the device and stop using celebrities that dont even use it.

  • donger

    Getting one now.