Now that the company is working its way back to health, HTC has signed a big name actor to continue to promote it's brand. According to those in the know, HTC has signed Robert Downey Jr. to a two-year $12 million contract. According to the sources, Downey will be playing himself in the ads, not the characters from some of his recent hit movies like Sherlock Holmes and Iron Man creator Tony Stark. Downey is represented by CAA which had no comment about the speculation.
Samsung is a huge corporation with the wherewithal to spend huge money on marketing for its smartphones. The Korean OEM is said to spend 10 times the amount for advertising than HTC does. Since Samsung spent $10 billion on marketing last year, that means that HTC spent roughly $1 billion on marketing in 2012. According to IDC research, HTC is the ninth largest smartphone manufacturer based on shipments, and has been surpassed by Chinese based rivals like ZTE and Huawei. Since peaking in the third quarter of 2011, HTC's global market share is down 76%.
HTC has eliminated the "Quietly Brilliant" tag line it had been using and plans to stop marketing itself as an underdog brand. HTC's marketing chief Ben Ho says, "We're not going to hide our brand anymore. We're going to be bolder with marketing." Robert Downey Jr. certainly would be a bold choice to market the brand.