Robert Downey Jr stars in latest HTC ad (and it's pretty good)

HTC manages to lasso Hollywood's bad boy for a series of ads as the fight for smartphone supremacy heats up

by Gabriella Griffith
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013
A helicopter swoops over a sprawling metropolis; we see a briefcase handcuffed to a be-suited arm and catch the silhouette of Downey Jr’s trademark black rimmed specs, as he stars out over the skyscrapers. To the uninitiated, it could be the opening scene from the latest Iron Man movie. But it’s not. It’s an HTC advert.

Mobile phone maker HTC has managed to recruit Robert Downey Jr to star in its latest advertising campaign. The two-year contract is believed to be worth $12m – a nice little earner for Hollywood’s highest paid actor (according to Forbes).

The ad features HTC’s latest strapline, ‘Here’s To Change,’ (see what they did there) and says the acronym HTC is ‘whatever you want it to be.’ Downey Jr proceeds to suggest some jazzy options such as Humongous Tinfoil Catamaran or Hipster Troll Carwash.

See for yourself:

The revelation of this latest ad campaign from the company, whose name actually stands for High Tech Computer, comes as we find smartphone sales have taken over from basic handset sales for the first time. This fact will surely add fire to the already heated smartphone battle raging between the biggest players.

The research by Gartner showed Samsung’s dominance of the smartphone space, with 31.7% of the market – something HTC is no doubt eager to take a bite of. The Chinese phone maker can take comfort in the fact that the android operating system (which HTC handsets run on) is the most popular. Android has a whopping 79% of the market – well ahead of iOS at 14.2%.

HTC’s high budget ad campaign is not the first time a phone company has hired Hollywood hands to pitch in and help.

There’s the ridiculous partnership between Kevin Bacon and EE – the latest incarnation of which features a Bacon acting like an embarrassing uncle at a wedding, joining a conga line around the UK. The ad also features the UK’s original embarrassing uncle – Noel Edmunds (how apt).

Nokia managed to pull off a stroke of genius, though, with its ad for Lumia 920, directed by none other than Roman Coppola (yep that’s Francis Ford’s son and Sophia’s brother). The ad pokes fun of the battle between Apple and Samsung, preaching, ‘Don’t fight. Switch.’

Eyes peeled to see who Apple and Samsung try to poach from the casting halls of Los Angeles.

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