By Vamien McKalin | Jun 21, 2013 05:56 PM EDT
HTC is experiencing hard times as the company's new flagship Android smartphone, the HTC One, is not performing as expected, despite being the best Android mobile device on the market right now. So what's the next move for this struggling Taiwanese company? Simple - sign a $12 million marketing deal with Iron Man 3 star, Robert Downey Jr.
The new marketing deal with Robert Downey Jr. will span for 2 years, however, the actor will promote HTC products as himself and not as the characters he plays in movies such as Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes. According to people close to the situation who spoke with Bloomberg, HTC will likely feature Downey in television, print and billboard ads. Such a deal could boost HTC's prospect with the younger crowd and the fans in general of the Iron Man star. However, if it fails, we could see HTC going up for sale to the highest bidder.
"We have nothing to announce today on a new marketing campaign," Sally Julien, a spokeswoman for HTC, wrote in an e-mail to Bloomberg. The HTC One smartphone's "all-metal design has drawn overwhelmingly positive feedback from media and consumers alike. Anyone with a penchant for metal should be able to appreciate its appeal."
Moreover, HTC device sales are down 68 percent since 2011. This is bad news for a company that once was seen as the best smartphone OEM around.
HTC was once the top OEM in the U.S. but due to Samsung spending quite a lot more on marketing, the company has failed tremendously to keep up, and now it is a distant second to Samsung in the Android market. HTC had a chance to redeem itself and bounce back as a true competitor with the HTC One. Unfortunately, Samsung's strong marketing of the Galaxy S4 has overshadowed HTC and every other Android OEM. It comes as no surprise now to see HTC attempting to spend more on marketing. However, it might be little too late. Only time will tell.
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