htcRobertDowneyJr

According to Bloomberg, Robert Downey Jr – star of Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes – is said to have accepted a two-year marketing deal with HTC, said to be worth a cool $12 million dollars.

Bloomberg’s source says that the deal doesn’t just include on-screen commercial appearances – HTC will employ the actor to have the final say over the design of all HTC products, as well as the expected duties of being the face of HTC through various advertising platforms.

HTC has had a pretty average year of sales so far, with only 5 million units sold since launch of their flagship phone the HTC One – hiring both Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes might be the break that they need. It might also help that Downey Jr is also familiar with the art of the comeback.

While many point to Blackberry popularising this strategy earlier this year (Alicia Keys is their Global Creative Director), they weren’t the first, though – Intel has Will.I.Am, and Polaroid has Lady Gaga.

Will this strategy of high profile celebrity endorsement work for HTC? I really hope so – I see a lot of missed potential in HTC devices both recently-launched and yet-to-be-released. One wonders what Downey Jr will make of products like the HTC Desire 200.

To their credit, HTC is remaining playful about the rumour. While not confirming anything, a HTC spokesperson notably failed to deny the deal, but instead attempted to link Downey Jr to the HTC One:

Anyone with a penchant for metal should be able to appreciate its appeal.

Well played, HTC.

What are your thoughts on Robert Downey Jr. working with HTC? What would you like him to alter in future HTC Devices?

Source(s): Bloomberg
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  • bunnybash

    I wonder if they know he is only acting, that he isn’t really Tony Stark? Someone should tell them that he isn’t a billionaire playboy who invents crazy stuff.

  • Montalbert

    Having final say over the design of all HTC products? HTC do realise that tony stark is actually a fictional character and IRL doesn’t actually know about these things?

  • DavidMcEldowney

    If they have, then perhaps HTC are FINALLY realising the importance of advertising. They’ve always made phenominal devices (I haven’t used a HTC device I didn’t love yet), however Samsung has been absolutely trouncing them, and it’s all down to advertising. HTC devices feel like premium devices, whereas Samsung devices feel like cheap hunks of plastic. Samsung devices are often more expencive than HTC devices too. Touchwiz is also quite an unpleasant experience – everyone I know with a Samsung device has installed something like Nova launcher to get around it. Admittedly, Sense isn’t everyones cup of tea, and can be a bit polarising (you either love it – like me – or hate it with a passion), but at least it’s still a pleasing to look at, and user friendly interface. Also, HTC are still actually innovating, whereas Samsung seem to have stagnated – the differences between the S3 and the S4, other than a spec upgrade, were mostly cosmetic.

    HTC’s downfall to this date has been their decision to let the devices speak for themselves. Sure, they’re absolutely fantastic devices, but if no one has ever heard about them, no one is going to buy them.

    This is a step in the right direction, and could hopefully see them starting to level the playing field!

  • Netto

    Not that it’s a small amount, but 12 million dollars sounds like a good 2 year deal for marketing by Downey Jr though I question giving him the final say for designs.

  • Sujay Vilash

    I was in my local Telstra shop to have my SIM card cut to size to fit my HTC One. So I asked the guy who came to help me which sold more, the S4 or the One. S4 by a mile, was his answer.

    So I have been thinking on what would I do if I was a HTC Marketing Executive. The only thing I can come up with is sales incentives. The sales staff need to have a reason to sell more of the One over the S4 which sort of sells itself due to Samsung’s huge market budget. All sales people I know (regardless of industry) are only interested in one thing and one thing only, money/dollars/mulah. Whatever you want to call it.

    So why doesn’t HTC offer all Telstra and Optus sales staff a sales incentive of, say, $25-$35 per handset sold ? This will “force” the sales staff to push the One more than any other brand/model. To get the money, the staff will push the One. HTC’s sales take off. And we have a HTC which will be around for sometime to come. Roll-out this incentive scheme all over the world and all of a sudden, HTC becomes a serious challenger for Samsung.

    Is hiring RDJ going to improve sales ? I just don’t see how it can.

  • RDJ

    Would love to see RDJ do the voice for some new siri equivalent for their products!

  • Julian

    Does this mean we will get Jarvis on our phones? :D