Update: Here's The Commercial (in full quality).

You probably saw the teaser ad for HTC's new campaign featuring none other than Robert Downey, Jr., star of the 2003 film adaptation of British TV series The Singing Detective. (Among other things.) Today the full 105-second spot was posted to YouTube. The quality is a little low, but you can still make everything out. Then you'll have to try and forget it.

I get the message - limitless possibilities, creative potential, yadda yadda. But the execution is just awful. HTC is clearly going for the lol so random brand of Internet humor, but they seem to have left out the humor bit. The ad reminds me of the cringe-inducing James Van Der Beek Bachelorette spoof from a few months ago. But that ad at least had some direction and a couple of chuckles, and this one is just two minutes of bland branding.

The lack of direction in HTC's marketing is just downright disheartening. After all, they've got what's widely considered to be one of the best premium phones on the planet, the HTC One. So where is the phone in the ad? What buying decision is this supposed to influence, non-traditional car washes? Instead of seeing actual products, we see RDJ being arrogant and goofy. Which is fine -that's what he does best. But we've seen him do that in four Marvel movies already. This is a huge missed opportunity - let's hope HTC has something better planned for the rest of the campaign.

If you're wondering what HTC really stands for, it's High Tech Computer. But I think one of the YouTube commenters put it best:


Source: YouTube - thanks, Chris!

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • David Margolin

    Hide This Commercial

  • RaviShah

    What the heck did I just watch?

  • kindrudekid

    That Bollywood Song from Movie Aks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFbTHrBpduY

  • Steven Bell

    They also said in their press release that they are releasing more adverts about their product and its features like video highlights. If silly worked for samsung it could work for HTC.

  • TechGuy22

    wow that's awful the fuck...

  • Casin

    Holy Terrible Crap!
    I can't believe Downey would be willing to do something like this for $12 million.

  • David Margolin

    Hopeless Taiwanese Crap

    • pride

      very very accurate my friend.
      +1 for you.



    • Gucci

      Your mother Has The C*ck

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hazel-Lyn-Malgapo-Mallare/100001843367364 Hazel Lyn Malgapo Mallare

      Here's The Charlatan.

      You want to play insults? Anyone can do that. Does it make you classier? No. I however have stooped down to your level so you hopefully understand where I'm coming from.

  • http://www.stevenmattera.com Steven Mattera

    RDJ was the best thing about this commercial.

  • John O’Connor
  • TareX

    They clearly spent all the marketing budget on RDJ, they didn't have enough money left to hire someone to write the ad itself.

    • master94

      Actually RDJ himself wrote the ad according to Engadget. Either way it doesnt make me want to buy the phone. Since we dont actually see any phone features. Just RDJ having fun.

  • 84guy

    What's an advertisement without the product. Nice try HTC but fail

    • Justin W

      I don't think they were advertising a specific product - just that they were moving for change.

    • NemaCystX

      Except it was in there, especially during the Hipster Troll Carwash

  • Bob G

    Yup, still terrible. Good on Bobby to take the free money and run.

    Huge Time Crapper.

  • Bryan Pizzuti

    Have To Cringe. As they run Headlong To Collapse. While we are Helpless To Curb their plunge.

  • HebeGuess

    Patience, guessing this video should be snap during their taiwan media briefing on RDJ's contract. The first ad is filmed in Miami by Bryan Buckley from Hungry Man and music dubbed by Beacon Street Studios (LA) . All this should be done under supervision of their worldwide advertising partner 171 Worldwide (WPP Group). According to the jounalist, they already finished filming 6 ads.

    Their CMO Ben Ho did told media this kind of H..T..C.. humors is only the leading phase and will also be loccally customised according to locals. At the event, they also presented a 60 secs One Mini ad in chinese while RDJ mentioned several homophonic words H T C pronounced in chinese words.

    Seems like they wanna to boost some brand regconition + RDJ hypes first, may be we should judge later then.

  • RyanWhitwam

    This is almost as bizarre as the Microsoft ads with Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates talking about churros.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      If I was Jerry Seinfeld, I'd be offended by this comment.

    • Aaron Berlin

      I guess I'll remain in the penalty box forever for really enjoying that ad!

  • Z

    HTC, please advertise the aesthetics and features of the One. Make a sexy product centric ad. Not this bullshit.

    • NemaCystX

      I hope you realize a ton of other companies do ads like this and show maybe a few seconds of the actual product. The key is to get the ad interesting to people and get it in their skull enough to make them hard to forget it.

      I almost have a feeling that those Hipster Trolls during that carwash scene might be used in upcoming marketing material.

      HTC isnt' the only one using this marketing strategy, tons of other companies are too, so before you judge, wait till HTC releases the US version of its ads and then judge it. I'm pretty sure some of their ads are going to be regionalized since surveys suggest the US consumer prefer ugly marketing materials (see: Video game/movie box art vs other countries) and stupid ads that have nothing to do with the product at all.

      HTC could be on to something with these new kind of ads, just like they did with their "You" commercials back in 2010-2011 (the same time frames they were booming in sales, they were #1 instead of Samsung

  • Tyler James Edward Hills

    As bad as this commercial is, I think everyone is underestimating the amount of stupidity (and blind adoration for RDJ) that the general public possesses.

    • NemaCystX

      you're right, the general public, according to surveys, want crap for ads and will buy if the ads are crappy and no quality in them at all.

      Its unfortunate since HTC makes some great devices but they have to target those demographics to get back in the game. I personally enjoyed the marketing more when they used "You" commercials back in the OG DROID Incredible / EVO days

  • Deveal2014

    I enjoyed it . I don't get the hate

  • Michael Jones

    I wasn't a fan of the ad like many of you but to people saying it lacked the device, isn't this just the first stage of their marketing with RDJ? They already had tons of ads that focused on features of the One so don't act like they haven't already done that. The first step of their strategy is to make their name more known which it kind of does by making you think of what HTC can mean.

    I just think maybe wait to see how things play out before saying they failed an entire marketing campaign based on the first ad.

  • Archit

    HTC - Halflife Three Confimed.

    • Ezzy

      You shall drown in upvotes!

    • Dimitar Kolev

      the best one I saw till now :)

  • RedSky0

    The look of bewilderment at 0:35 pefectly sums up my reaction to this commercial.

  • Bishop

    This is Funny and Smart---Bravo HTC---Welcome to the big leagues!

  • NemaCystX

    lol "Hipster Troll Carwash" LMAO

    I don't know why that stuck out to me at the end of the commercial

  • Manmit

    See its already working people have started making fullforms ( as in comments )of HTC it may be bad but that's what they ate trying to do
    Make their name known HTC
    Be it whatever u like

  • sirsteven

    i wish that video ran for another 10 seconds so as to capture the stunned silence as the assembled people envision $1 billion going up in flames.

  • GraveUypo

    oh man it's good for them that these phone ads aren't targeted at me. i hate all of them.

  • fredric

    Hate This Crap!

  • Mantas

    I, for one, think this ad is great. First thing HTC has to accomplish is reminding people about themselves. IMO this is a great way to do that- using RDJ to get the name out there. After that they can focus on the phones and features. There were quite a lot of ads (and some really good ones) of the HTC One highlighting the features, but that didn't do much.

  • Thomas Gladdines

    hold this cat lol

  • Samuel Hart

    I..... what? O.o

  • io53

    I honestly hoped for some Iron Man action, would suit the red HTC One. Oh well.

  • http://visionaforethought.wordpress.com/ Oflife

    Hold This Cat. Lol. Seriously, their branding is the problem. The typography is awful and not representative of the quality of the phones. Unlike Apple and Samsung whose graphic and typographic design is way more professional and slick.

  • merman1983

    Uhhh ....

  • nrocks

    Come on people really?! This is obviously not a real commercial, it is being shown on a projection screen, its a sort of first draft. Also this is obviously not a commercial for the one, they make other phones you now, it is an ad for htc as a whole. And where you mention RDJ being from is the dumbest thing ever, like really? Not iron man? Sherlock Holmes? Some show that nobody has heard of. Also you are missing the point behind why RDJ. If any one of you actually wanted htc to succeed at all you wouldn't be downplaying they're DIFFERENT ideas so much. Yes it is weird, but its been released on the internet where it was free for them to post, its not like this has been released and shown on television.
    HTC- Help This Community

  • Charles Sweeney

    #EpicFail...Who do I contact at HTC to get the 2 minutes and 3 seconds of my life back?

  • Josh

    Headed Towards Calamity

  • Jms

    Really cute! Can wait to see more!

  • chinna_rao

    "Here's The Commercial"???
    you guys wanted to have some too right?

  • http://www.ronakg.com/ Ronak Gandhi

    Horrible Television Commercial

  • Theodor B. Onarheim

    Huh? It's one of the coolest ads I've seen in the phone world. Humongous Tinfoil Catamaran? And then they actually have to show it too? That's hilarious!

  • Trevor Beckett

    In the case of my bloody HTC One is Has to Charge. All the bloody time.