Can Robert Downey Jr lend some Iron Man star power to HTC's struggling smartphone range?
Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man.
(Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Marvel Studios)
That's obviously what the Taiwanese company hopes, with Bloomberg reporting that "two people with knowledge of the plans" has leaked details of the deal to the publication.
Downey is reportedly getting US$12 million for the two-year deal, and will feature in the marketing campaign as himself rather than Tony Stark. He will also, apparently, have final creative control over the campaign's elements.
HTC certainly needs a boost of some form. Recent data from IDC put the beleaguered company at ninth place in terms of global smartphone shipments, well behind Huawei, ZTE and even Nokia.
HTC undoubtedly has a great phone in the HTC One. It's a well-designed, well-reviewed flagship handset.
HTC's CEO Peter Chou has previously stated that he blamed poor marketing on the company's decline, and said that it was committed to stronger campaigns and "unique products that appeal to consumers".
It has the latter, but can Robert Downey Jr provide the former?
While this is still very much a rumour, a spokesperson for HTC gave Bloomberg a small hint that perhaps the speculation was far from idle:
We have nothing to announce today on a new marketing campaign. [The HTC One's] all-metal design has drawn overwhelmingly positive feedback from media and consumers alike. Anyone with a penchant for metal should be able to appreciate its appeal.
We guess it's just a shame that Downey doesn't play a character called Aluminium Unibody Man, then.