Can Ironman Revive HTC?

The Los Angeles Times reported yesterday that Taiwanese smartphone and tablet manufacturer, HTC, has inked a spokesperson deal with “Ironman” actor, Robert Downey, Jr.  Downey is slated to star in and have creative input in the company’s new marketing campaign, “Here’s To Change,” (H.T.C. – get it?) that rolls out on Aug 15. The campaign is expected to cost nearly $1 billion, with Downey pocketing a cool $12 million.

Once the golden child of creating must-have phones – and the original adopter of the Android platform – HTC took a beating by tech titans Apple and Samsung. The firm is hoping that this push will get consumers talking about their products again. While marketers, bloggers and journos certainly are chatting, it seems like a fairly risky move for a company that recently reported that profits had fallen over 80%.

The three-phase campaign opens with Downey and crew making cheeky references to possible meanings behind, “HTC.” The outbursts run the gamut from “Hold This Cat,” and “Hipster Troll Carwash,” to “Hello, Troubled Corporation.” (Okay, not that last one. That was mine.)

Will it work?

The key to disruptive marketing is knowing how to tap into the mood and wants of the market, and then craft (or re-shape) a clever message that turns convention on its pretty head. In other words: compelling content. Businesses, however, still have to back up content with the kinds of goods and services people want to use.  Nestlé, for example, is desperately trying to revive Hot Pockets, those much-scorned microwavable holdovers from the early 80s. They’re testing new recipes with ingredients like Asiago cheese, hickory-smoked ham and pretzel bread. I love pretzel bread, but I can’t fathom eating a Hot Pocket. Like Nestlé, HTC needs to clear the hurdle of making products consumers not only talk about, but love.

Both Apple and Samsung have gone from adjusting to market demands, to helping shape them. Only time will tell if HTC can make this leap. I’m sure Ben Ho hopes so.

So, marketers… what big gambles have you taken that have paid off? FreshAddress wants to hear from you! Let us know!

Recent Posts

In my first Only Influencers post, 8 Tips to Turn Subscribers into Loyalists, I shared tactical advice on how to use the power of email to help your subscribers become loyal customers. Each tip is something you could employ quickly to encourage your email subscribers to connect with your brand and to keep building on that […]

As you put your 2022 marketing plans together, you’ll concentrate on acquisition, budget and campaigns. We would like to add another item to your list and move it to the No. 1 priority: Your data! Why data? Because data is the lifeblood of your marketing program. Without fresh, accurate and useful data, you can’t market […]

We want to wish all of our FreshPerspectives readers a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2022! As we close out 2021, it’s a great opportunity to set priorities for the coming twelve months. Whether you’re new to email marketing or an industry veteran, consider these New Year’s Resolutions to help ring in a banner year in […]
Chat with us