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HTC Builds Billion-Dollar Campaign Around Robert Downey Jr.

First ads featuring Downey debut Aug. 15

Robert Downey Jr has landed a new high-profile role: brand spokesman for cell phone maker HTC.

HTC is spending around $1 billion on a new campaign that aims to rally consumers around its brand, and has tapped Downey to star in a series of spots and other media, as part of the two-year deal. Downey will also work with HTC’s ad agency to develop the marketing messaging.

HTC spent around $1 billion on its entire sales and marketing budget last year, meaning the Downey promo is its largest single campaign to date, the company said. It comes as HTC is looking to compete more with Apple and Samsung for a piece of the highly competitive smartphone biz.

The effort will debut in three phases, with the first focused on the HTC brand, the second on its phones’ various features, and the third on how they empower individuals in their daily lives. HTC said it wanted to take a more playful approach to how it markets its smartphones and other mobile devices like the HTC One.

The first ads featuring Downey roll out Aug 15, and show the thesp pairing up the HTC letters with words like “Humongous Tinfoil Catamaran” and “Hipster Troll Carwash.”

“HTC’s innovation, authenticity, and boldness have made us the change-makers in the mobile industry and led us to launch what influencers regard as the best phone in the world, the HTC One,” said HTC chief marketing officer Ben Ho. “Our original and playful change platform is different to anything else out there and aligns our brand with the same qualities our phones are already known for.”

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