Robert 'Iron Man' Downey Jr. recruited to be HTC pitchman
CNATAIPEI -- Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp. announced Monday that it has signed a contract with Hollywood movie star Robert Downey Jr. for marketing campaigns over the next two years.
August 13, 2013, 12:05 am TWN
Ben Ho, HTC's chief marketing officer, told a media briefing that the company will release five to six new online marketing videos starring Downey starting Aug. 15, with similar commercials
to be broadcast in certain key markets, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, China, Australia and Taiwan.
Media speculation on Downey surfaced in late June and indicated he would be paid US$12 million over two years to promote HTC handsets. Ho declined to comment.
Downey, 48, starred in Disney's Marvel superhero films “The Avengers” in 2012 and “Iron Man 3” in 2013, making him Hollywood's highest paid actor, according to Forbes.com.
“His (Downey's) personality and our personality are very much the same,” Ho said. “Robert Downey Jr. is not just a brand investor. In fact, he is an inspiration to us.”
Ho noted that HTC will spend about US$1 billion in marketing this year, the same level as last year. The company spent U$474 million in the first half of 2013.
HTC is taking a different marketing approach from last year as it is putting more resources into its bigger markets instead of spreading them equally in all markets, because of the company's limited marketing budget, he stated.
Although HTC is shifting its products to the mid-tier segment, the company still plans to spend 70-75 percent of its marketing budget in promoting the HTC One and the flagship phone's variants, he said.
HTC is hoping that these new marketing gambits will help offset a rapid decline in sales momentum in the past two months caused by a slowdown in its HTC One shipments.
On Monday, the company reported July sales of NT$15.7 billion (US$524 million), the second consecutive monthly decline, after posting revenues of NT$22.1 billion in June and NT$29 billion in May.
HTC expects its revenue to decline 15-30 percent sequentially in the third quarter to between NT$50 billion and NT$60 billion, with a gross margin of 18-21 percent and an operating margin of zero to minus 8 percent.