Robert Downey Jr,.

HTC has reportedly hired actor Robert Downey Jr. for a 2-year global marketing campaign. The smartphone manufacturer will try to capitalize on the actor's popularity to promote their new devices, such as the beloved HTC One. A bold move like this should come as no surprise. It is no secret that there have been questions about HTC's longevity, with recent employment changes and competition with the behemoth that Samsung has become; though May was its best financial month of 2013.

The deal has not yet been officially announced, but the speculation is that Downey Jr. will have final creative say over the campaign and will not be portraying any characters but himself.

This is a good move by HTC. As good as the HTC One is, Samsung has been pouring money into marketing, which has been effective. The more HTC can brand itself and capture the public's attention, the better off they will be. An actor of Robert Downey Jr.'s caliber will help them do just that.

Source: Bloomberg

 

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HTC reportedly inks $12 million ad campaign with Robert Downey Jr.

78 Comments

this is a horrible deal i dont think he has a huge following out side of iron man. samsung jay z signing was more impressive. "i am an htc one user"

Outside of being known as a rapper what type of following does Jay Z have? RDJ is an A-list Hollywood actor who has starred in blockbuster films. There is even anticipation for his roles in films up to 2014. Ironman is a character that has a following that goes back several decades. With the success that RDJ has had with the Ironman films I'd say his following is much larger.

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"Outside of being known as a rapper what type of following does Jay Z have?"
You're joking, right? Jay-Z brushes shoulders with some of the most powerful and influential people in the world. Even if you don't like him, nobody can deny that he has branched outside the world of hip-hop, and become an extremely savvy & successful entrepreneur. I'd say that most any American at least knows who Jay-Z is, and he is actually quite popular outside the states as well.
Even if he *was* just a glorified pop-icon, that's still more than enough to run a successful advertising campaign. Samsung's results speak for themselves.
I'm not even some Jay-Z fanboy either - I just recognize success when I see it.

I'm not sure if you're being serious with this reply so I won't spend time correcting your incomplete statements and assumptions. Btw DD had a lot to do with his initial ventures..he didn't do it all alone.

Back on topic.

HTC has learned to leverage the power of using data to gauge general and specific interest. Using common sources such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google search, they can query trending subjects of interest. They can make the scope as large as they wish. If they were to have found that based on a certain set of metrics, RDJ has sustainable public interest, then this venture could have a +ROI. Giving him some creative control could be great or a disaster..who knows?

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ok one argued whether he did it alone or not, the argument is who is the better person for advertisement.

How many people will be influenced to buy and HTC phone because some rapper was used in a commercial or Robert Downey will be used in the next commercial?

Come on, get real. This is 12 million dollars down a rat hole from a company that is on the ropes.

The no-big-name Samsung commercials are far more successful.

Babies and innovative Tech, and not a celeb anywhere. Every woman I know is glued to those ads.

RDJ just creeps me out. Hes not selling me anything. Even my wife thinks hes a sleeze.

More Americans know who RDJ is than Jay-Z. You could argue that a rapper supplies more panache and coolness but at the same time rappers don't have the best reputation with middle America.

I agree with your statement. I've heard the name Jay-Z but I've never heard his music or even know what he looks like.

I have no idea what J-Z does besides rapping. Thats a very small community they're targeting with him, compared to Downey. Movie actor vs. Rapper. Hmmmmm. I'm not saying J-Z is bad, just seems like he couldn't bring in the crowd that a big actor could. tifwiw

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I have a strong feeling that along with me there are tons of people who see absolutely no appeal to jay-z. Not discrediting the artist, just saying.

Robert Downey as a person doesn't seem to far removed from the flamboyant, corky style of Tony Stark so this has entertainment potential.

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everyone love IronMan and RDJ. that's not the case with Jay Z.
Heck i wonder if anyone know JZ outside united states,UK??

with Avengers 2 and 3 RDJ gets more fans

I like Jay z. Music but of the people I know they can relate to Rdj a lot more than they can with Jay z. Iron man and the Avengers is huge right now.

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Smh....... If he had the iron man suit on or is campaigning under his tony stark alias I can see.....

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I think it's a great idea. Ironman has a huge following. I'm not talking about just the movies I'm talking about the Hero Ironman himself. This character has been around for a very long time much much longer than Jay Z. We are talking comics, books, movies you name it. I think its a great pick.

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It's a good move, couldn't hurt. Hopefully they will put him into some kind of character for advertising....that would be cool. I'm a Samsung fan, but love healthy Comp.

RDJ is bigger than you think. Maybe he isn't Brad Pitt or George Clooney but so what, I think they are overrated. RDJ has been around and popular for a while, albeit not always for the most positive things, but his comeback has been nothing short of amazing. This is a very good strategic move for HTC marketing, and with the right scripts RDJ will help pull HTC out of their drain circling (marketing wise) and put them on the big map yet again as they deserve. #my2cents

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So because he's a rap artist he's a drug dealer.. How about a father, past record label president, minor owner in a NBA team, entrepreneur and now a licensed sports agent. No knock against RDJ but come on.. Ignorance is bliss.

Jay Z used to sell drugs. That is a true statement. It's in his biography. RDJ had a serious drug addiction problem. All of this was part of their past life. My response was to show that if you want to paint someone based on their history, why not apply that logic to everyone else.

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I don't really care one way or the other I was just looking good to yank someone's chain and you stepped to the plate and took a bite. :-)

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RDJ was an out of control addict so why would he need that now? See above

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I'm strictly responding about Jay-Z. I don't have much of an opinion on RDJ. I don't think HTC is making a good or bad move..how well it works will be seen later. The whole crackhead/drug-dealer stuff is just out of line in general. Everybody has secrets and major judgment-errors in their past--it's just human-nature.

?huh? Hahahah!! I'd love to read your published articles and research regarding that...on the next broadcast.

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RDJ is a likable guy and all but they should invest the same amount into quick, timely, bug free updates on all their current to year old phones at minimum.

Word of mouth is the most powerful form of advertising.

HTC loves burning shareholder money on gimmicks and celebrities rather than focusing on innovation. Dr. Dre? Zuck? and now RDJ???

do you hear me Chou?????????????????????

With Zuck, if you're referring to Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook phone. I'm pretty sure that FB paid HTC to create that failure of a phone and not the other way around.

I'd rather they use this $12 million to a good marketing campaign. RDJ means nothing unless they have a good marketing campaign.

anyone who can discredit Jay-Z being the better deal, is ludicrous, HipHop is not just in the UK and US....you have to look at Japan, Australia, Africa, the Koreas, Mexico, South America....and Jay-Z is at the fore front of that entire global movement. not to mention the fact that every album he ever put out goes number 1 in more than 5 countries. Platinum in like 3 or 4 of those...at least Gold in everyone. You Cant deny the star power behind Jay-Z

I like RDJ and all but honestly aside from Iron Man, who he will not be portraying in these advertisements, he doesnt have the pull individually that Jay-Z would. He's not someone id look at and say oh he's got this cool phone from HTC i gotta Have it.

I know I'm 41 and old, but RDJ was a household name for me nearly 30 years before he ever starred in Iron Man. When I hear his name I don't automatically see Tony Stark. On the other hand, I know Jay-Z by name and I know he is a rapper. I have no clue what else he has done. I'm sure it's great stuff, but I don't know it. You may be young and I know sometimes it seems the things you view as important are the only things important. In time though, you may realize that it is often not the case. The world is bigger than your world. Jay-Z is a great pickup and will captivate a large demographic, but RDJ is big also and will capture a large demographic spanning a large age group with his four decade carrier.

I completely agree. The only thing I know about Jay-Z besides that he's a rapper is that he gets to bed Beyonce on a regular basis. For that he gets my jealousy but that doesn't make him a bigger star than RDJ.

You sir are wrong. So a prior Jay Z album went gold in the states and did not debut nor reach number 1 in sales. If you say all of them reached number one, then I'll take your word for it.

What is the popularity and sales rankings of hip hop in Mexico, Canada, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, South America, Central America, to include marketing budgets established for those markets? Which demographics are most influenced by hip hop? Or are you just blowing hot air & stating this as an opinion and not trying to push it out as fact

I had a feeling that this might turn into a comparison of how much a certain source of entertainment would be more viable than another. The individual is probably probably the most important factor.

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Everyone arguing who's more popular from their own individual angle, but if you look beyond that, and try to see overall appeal you can use "Q-scores" and the fact is Jay-Z's q-score is over twice that of RDJ.

Additionally Jay-Z has a younger more urban slant, which any marketing expert will tell you is the trend setting demo you want to target.

Not saying RDJ is a bad signing but I hope it's not their entire startegy.

How is a Q score more effective than gathering unsolicited information that is compiled from multiple sources (big data)?

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Yeah. Nothing gets the young people like a 43-year old rapper. Hell, that guy is even older than me and I'm old.

the stated facts were that every album hit number 1 in the states and went Certified Gold *at least* in numerous countries. not ALL but more than 3.....a few even hit 9 or 10 countries. thats all i was stating, his INFLUENCE is global......RDJ influence might span back 30 or 40 years but IRON MAN is his Global Recognition. i knew who he was prior to iron man as well, but he was irrelevant...and the generations that grew up watching him aren't in the market for high end devices so much as the "Jay-Z Generation".....RDJ's generational pull are pretty much set where they are...with few exceptions.

Yet. I've never once heard a Jay-Z song. Weird. It's not like I don't like rap either. I have lots of rap in my collection. Strange how that works.

By the way, RDJ and Jay-Z are of the same generation. RDJ is 48 and Jay-Z is 43. People like me that grew up watching RDJ movies have a lot more money to spend on high-end electronics than young kids. Plus, if you were really after the youngster market you'd hire Drake or Pitbull or one of those other people that young people care about, not some middle-aged drug dealer turned rapper turned mogul.

WHAT!?? Let's say Gen-X & Gen-Y followed Ironman. You say they aren't in the market for high tech equipment. What were they in the market for, fried mullet? Who's in the Jay Z generation? Are they the same ones from the Beiber generation or what's her face generation..lol

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I swear I didn't know who the dude was until I saw iron man. I had to wiki his film career. So in short he would never influence me to buy a product from a company. Twelve million dollars! WoW!

Why would you let any celebrity influence your purchases?

Obviously, this type of marketing works on someone as companies spend obscene amounts of money on it. I just never understand who these people are that can be so easily swayed one way or another for irrational reasons.

I'm not buying any other HTC phone because Iron Man tells me to. Lesser phones than the Rezound have been getting Android updates, yet HTC + Verizon have left my Rezound to die.

This was your last chance, HTC. You lost a customer for good.

Hate to break the news, but Verizon is the worst carrier in America (among the big names) to get updates pushed to their higher end Android phones. I've never owned an HTC phone, and I'm on AT&T, but cut HTC some slack. It looks like they are at least TRYING to correct some mistakes they've made.

Now only time will tell if they'll follow through with the One's 4.2.2 update sooner than later.

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the only good thing I can remember about the Rezound was the decent pair of earphones that it came with. That's all...

I will never buy another HTC phone again. (from any carrier, not just Verizon)

I don't see this selling an extra $12 million worth of phones (just to break even) but whatever. Good for him and his family I guess.

Im a HTC user (aka fanboy, :D )

Im a Jay Z fan as well, as a fan of RDJ's movies. I think Jay-Z will have a bigger success on Samsucng than RDJ has on HTC.

Lol these posts are embarrassing about who is a better person to hire to promote phones as if y'all know,

You have to be really cool to end a sentence with a comma. Maybe you should be the HTC spokesman. You seem to have your pulse on what young people consider good grammar and punctuation.

Great actor with a huge following. Smart move by HTC, Downey has great timing and the right kind of ad could prove to be worth it's weight in gold. I bet this helps HTC sell a ton of phones. Good Luck to HTC and Robert Downey Jr.

Nice move by HTC. We will now see an htc remote for his bew iron man suit.

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Let's see, Samsung makes a few minor adjustments to the Android interface with TouchWiz, and does incredible. HTC s**ts all over the Android interface with Senseless, and they can barely make ends meet. I know how to fix things, let's hire some big actor for lots of moola that we don't have. That's the ticket.

(That's not the ticket. Gettison the garbage and give us an Android that's better than real Android, not just different. Or just give us real Android.)

To all the above arguments... Who friggin cares? Both are stars. Both phone companies are awesome. Bottom line... WE ALL WINGS. Deal with it.

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It is crazy to me that people are denying Jay-zs popularity. He has gone from music to sports to politics in a sense. His name spread with his affiliation with Obama. He's had a segment on Oprah. His book released and was on the top ten on release. Warren Buffet has spoke to his business sense. He's a licensed sports agent and one of the most sought after by athletes at the moment. His albums sell amazingly across the globe. More number ones than Elvis and the rolling stones. His wife is one of the most recognizable faces in entertainment and arguably one of the best vocalists. He's covered Time magazine and was ranked one of the most influential people. Ranked in the Forbes most wealthy. Are you people serious? Lol. How far removed are you people? From Budweiser campaigns to Apple ads I'm sure you've heard a song even if you didn't know it.

At first I was skeptical... thinking that 12 m could have been better spent on new manufacturing process and technologies.

However, htc had been doing most of that and still lost to samsung.

This is actually smart move by HTC considering they dropped $300 million in the deal with Beats Electronics and didn't see a significant sales in return. I like Dr. Dre and beats audio, but not everyone likes Dr. Dre and not everyone care about the beat audio. On the other hand it is really hard to not like Iron man. $12 m is a steal compared to $300 m! What made this $12 million even more sense is that Robert Downey Jr. just signed to make 2 more avenger movies. That marketing potential is undeniable.

Most interesting of all, RDJ has a say to influence the creative direction. This is huge coming from someone with an image of high tech and awesome gadgets, rather than just ... hey I am RDJ and buy this phone? :D