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HTC Teams Up With Robert Downey Jr.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Embattled smartphone maker HTC has teamed up with Hollywood actor Robert Downey Jr. to launch a new marketing campaign.

Dubbed 'The Change', the strategy "celebrates HTC's disruptive impact on the mobile industry", according to a statement released by the company early on Monday.

Downey Jr. has signed a two-year deal with HTC and will appear in an ad that will screen first on YouTube on Aug. 15, followed by TV and cinema slots. HTC has posted a 15-second teaser for the ad on YouTube.

HTC said that Downey Jr. worked closely with the company to shape the "creative direction" of the new ad campaign, which offers different interpretations of the HTC acronym. An app on the HTC Web site also lets people identify the most outlandish interpretations of the company name.

The first phase of the strategy will offer a "playful take" on the company's brand, according to HTC's statement. The second phase will highlight how HTC innovations have changed the mobile industry, while the third phase will focus on how HTC's products empower individuals "to drive change in their own lives".

The Taiwanese firm launched its flagship HTC One phone earlier this year, but faces increasingly stiff competition from the likes of Apple (AAPL) and Samsung. Last month the company forecast a lack of profit this quarter.

HTC is not the first smartphone maker to bring in a celebrity to boost the profile of its products. Earlier this year, for example, BlackBerry (BBRY) unveiled singer Alicia Keys as its new global creative director.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

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