Bloomberg is reporting that HTC is planning on signing Robert Downey Jr. as their global smartphone ambassador and will have “final say over creative elements”. I’m not sure what this latter news means exactly, but if any of this is true, we should start seeing Downey Jr. and HTC together all over the place in ads across the globe. Sources close to the matter are saying that the two-year deal will be worth $12 million, though no official announcement has been made. Downey Jr. won’t promote HTC as Tony Stark, Sherlock Holmes, or any of his other roles, just as himself. I don’t know if this means he’ll be using HTC devices in all of his roles or what, but hopefully it doesn’t turn into a meme-worthy ridicule such as the movie I, Robot.
Samsung joined forces with Jay Z, so it makes sense for HTC to counter with another A-list celebrity. HTC sales have slumped in recent years (37% first quarter revenue drop from last year) and a lack of marketing has been a huge part of this. Robert Downey Jr.’s natural charisma and quip may be just what HTC needs as one of many steps to make it the dominant smartphone brand it once was. HTC has also dropped their (often mocked) Quietly Brilliant slogan and wants to be more “bold”; this move fits right along with this. HTC is slowly on the up-and-up, I’m glad they’re finally fitting the right pieces together again.