Robert Downey Jr.'s HTC 'Change' Campaign Pays Homage to Classic Ad Film, Putney Swope
It's just really hard to fathom that Robert Downey Jr. used to be a drugged out, has-been actor on the brink of death. The dude truly has become the Iron Man. His latest commercial outing, aside from his many successful films, is a two year deal with HTC that will place Downey front and center in a new campaign for the brand, launching August 15, that will playfully endeavor to define what HTC stands for.
Beginning with "humongous tinfoil catamaran," Downey is expected to use his super powers in several humorous short commercials envisioning what HTC really stands for.
The initial ad, created by 171 WorldWide, is an homage to the opening scene of the classic advertising movie, Putney Swope which, interestingly, was directed by Downey's father, Robert Downey Sr. In the opening scene, a Hell-Angel-ish "advertising guru," Dr. Weasley, flies over Manhattan in a helicopter sporting a Confederate flag, makes his way to the conference room of a Mad Men-era advertising agency and shares the kind of insightful wisdom we have all heard before spewed from the mouths of over-paid consultants and account planners before simply leaving the room.
Hopefully Downey's advice will be a bit more grounded than Weasley's and help the struggling technology brand right itself from failed campaigns and internal upheaval.
Of the campaign's direction, HTC CMO Ben Ho said, "With this campaign, we are reaffirming what HTC's role is in the mobile market which is to define change and lead the industry in developing the newest and most innovative technologies."
Following the initial brand re-positioning, product launchers will be incorporated into the campaign.
A social game of sorts will support the campaign. Called HTC Generator, visitors to the brand's What Is HTC page can simply click a "Here's to Change" button and explore possibilities slot machine-slyle. These random generations can be shared across social channels.
Opening scene of Putney Swope: