Do you remember that kid in high school that really wanted to be popular? He wasn't as athletically gifted or as attractive as his friends, and, even with his expensive clothes and his designer (Gorilla) glasses, he just didn't get the attention and respect he felt he deserved. So, what does this guy do to get noticed? He becomes the class clown, the funny guy - Mr. Giggles. Now, a good sense of humor is a perfectly legitimate way to gain social standing and win friends so what's the problem with that? The problem is that this kid's sense of humor is just a little off and his jokes are either not funny, or distastefully inappropriate. His antics do make people laugh sometimes, but they aren't laughing at the jokes, they are laughing at him.
In this analogy, HTC is the kid and the jokes are the advertisements HTC has crafted the last couple of years. In 2013, to launch the new One M7, HTC released a commercial spoofing the bachelorette featuring James Van Der Beek that somehow managed to be more uncomfortable to watch than the real bachelorette. To remedy this misfire, HTC launched a new ad starring Robert Downey Jr. and twerking green trolls at a carwash. Yeah, that one was even worse. The following year Gary Oldman introduced the M8 by saying blah, blah, blah a lot. Ironically, blah, blah, blah sums up the last three years of HTC's advertising very nicely.
One would think HTC should have learned by now that it's unique brand of humor may not be the best way to hawk its wares. Are you kidding? This is HTC, since when do they do anything rational? The newest spot for 2015 eschews all the celebrities and spoofs a subject matter that is guaranteed to draw laughs – Clinical depression medication. Yeah, clinical depression, that medical condition resulting from a chemical imbalance that millions of people suffer from and that causes individuals and families an unmeasurable amount of suffering and includes the side effect of death by suicide. With a subject matter as funny as that, how could HTC go wrong? I'll let you watch the spot for yourself before I break it down.
Update: HTC's YouTube video has now been set to private, but here's a mirror if you're curious.
As you can see, HTC really did a good job capturing the look, feel, and emotion of an anti-depressant commercial (why they ever thought that was a good idea is an entirely different question). It's really one of the better spoof ads I have ever seen, but that only makes it more nauseating. The ad begins by listing names for a variety of fake ailments that this new medication treats, gems such as Bi-Phonal Displeasure Disorder, Samsung Affective Disorder and Irritable Operating System. As if making fun of depression wasn't enough, HTC made the decision to also mock those afflicted with bipolar and seasonal affective disorder. The solution for all these problems, according to the video, is a medication called Cellami (personally, I think this name would work better with a fake ED medication) also known by its generic name metalidone boomsoundide.
I don't know if the HTC One M9 will really cure you of all your problems, but the lack of taste HTC showed in producing this ad may have cured me of the desire to purchase another One any time soon.