Ina Fried

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HTC Looks to Robert Downey Jr. to Rehab Its Image

After seeing its fortunes rapidly rise — and then come back down to earth just as fast — Taiwanese phone maker HTC is looking to rebuild its image.

Robert Downey Jr HTC ad

For the past few months, HTC has been talking about a big marketing push. On Monday, the company announced a few more details on that long-awaited campaign, which features Robert Downey Jr.

And Robert Downey Jr. certainly knows a thing or two about trying to rebuild after a few stumbles.

For its part, HTC has signed Downey to a two-year deal, and plans a campaign to literally redefine what the company stands for. A randomizer on HTC’s site lets users come up with their own acronym possibilities. For now, HTC is starting out with “Here’s to Change.”

The company plans a full reveal on Aug. 15, but posted a teaser spot to YouTube. The first spot will also debut on YouTube before making its way to TV commercials and movie theaters.

On the new-product front, HTC has said it expects more rough times ahead, though it does hope some new midrange phones will help things in the fourth quarter.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald