With the release of the flagship HTC One M9 imminent, HTC has brought back former collaborator Robert Downey Jnr. for a new series of short, somewhat baffling promos.
HTC has released ten 30-second shorts starring Downey, each of which features ‘genre-bending’ use of color, props and costumes, references to pop culture icons such as Charlie Chaplin and Andy Warhol – and little-to-no mention of the One M9 itself.
We get the sense that the promos were artistically driven by Downey himself, rather than HTC’s long-suffering marketing department. While HTC and the M9 do get a brief mention at the end of each short, there’s virtually nothing else that ties the content to the device or the HTC brand.
The films do, however, introduce a new tagline and 'HTC philosophy' for the company and its One range of devices: One Life. Make it Count. The first of the 'M9 Project' shorts is below; you can find the rest - and read more on the wacky campaign - at HTC.
Confused? You're not alone
Downey first teamed up with HTC to champion the Taiwanese tech company back in 2013, starring in – and reportedly co-creating – the ‘Here’s to Change’ ad campaign, which saw the Oscar-nominated actor sharing screen time with cats, hipster trolls and humongous tinfoil catamarans.
HTC brought Downey back last year to promote the HTC One M8 in a brief commercial that, unlike the company’s latest effort, actually saw the celeb spokesperson showing off and talking up the device shortly after its March release.
While we still think the formerly troubled Downey makes an ideal partner for HTC in its efforts to turn around the misfortunes of the past few years, we’d love to see the star spend less time being artsy, and more time actually promoting the company’s products.
We’re still excited to get our hands on the One M9, but a little disappointed that, so far, the company hasn’t made better use of its partnership with Iron Man.