HTC makes Robert Downey Jr its number one fan

HTC makes Robert Downey Jr its number one fanHTC promised a change in marketing approach towards the end of last year, and it's certainly kept its promise, though we're not sure whether some of the tactics haven't hindered rather than helped the Taiwanese firm's prospects.

And here's another move we'll just have to wait and see on for now: HTC has enlisted Robert Downey Jr in a $12m global marketing deal set to run for the next two years.

It's a good old fashioned celebrity endorsement deal, with Downey Jr set to appear as himself in the ads and have final say over creative elements of the campaign, Bloomberg reports.

The ads will reportedly run across TV, print and billboards, and will no doubt look to build on the current surge of support for the all-metal HTC One.

There's no immediately obvious tie-in between Downey Jr's image as an actor and HTC's as a phone maker, so expect the campaign to play it straight and aim simply to make the most of the actor's current A List billing thanks to the likes of Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes. That said, it's a better match than some of its recent ad ideas.

Downey Jr's pre-2000 image would probably have been a closer match to HTC's current approach, but with the actor only just having rebuilt his name after some serious drug issues, the present mainstream action man version will have to do.

It follows BlackBerry's move to appoint singer Alicia Keys as brand ambassador when it announced its new BlackBerry 10 OS back in January, though in this case you're not likely to see Downey Jr rolled out as some kind of HTC ecosystem guru. Although you never know.

It begs the question – is this the start of a bigger trend across the mobile industry, and if so who'll be next? And who'd be you're ideal celeb to push your favourite phone maker's wares?

Having just written about Nokia, I couldn't help making the loose Scandinavian connection and thinking Scarlett Johansson would make a fine brand ambassador. Then again, given his vaguely Elop-ian resemblance we'd probably end up with Paul Blart.

Any takers to liven up a dull Monday?

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