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HTC and Gary Oldman Tell You to “Ask the Internet,” Rather Than Sell You on the One (M8)

What do you do if you are HTC, are barely hanging on for dear life in the mobile race, have zero marketing budget, and just released your latest phone that needs to be a winner in order for you to survive? Apparently, you hire Gary Oldman and have him say nothing related to your product other than “Blah blah blah” and “Ask the internet” about it.

I wouldn’t say that the spot is worse than those embarrassing Robert Downey, Jr. “Hipster Troll Carwash” commercials, but it’s not giving us much. I know that HTC needs to do something different while spending wisely, but talking about your product might help, you know, sell it. Maybe a feature mention or two? At least take it out off the dark and actually show it off?

  • Smeckle

    A couple nights ago I finally saw one of these commercials on TV. It was the “ask the internet…I’ll wait” one, except they had changed it so that it ended at “I’ll wait,” rather than having that long, awkward silence. Then either during the same commercial break or a later one, Gary suddenly came back on, asked “So what did you think?” in a big closeup, and then it went to the next commercial. It was literally like a five-second popup of his face in between other ads. The ad campaign is just awful.

  • creed

    This is ridiculously stupid!

    “It doesn’t matter what I say, the M8 is made for those who form their own opinion. Go ahead just ask the Internet.”

    Am I the only one that sees the irony there? It doesn’t matter what you say, but I should listen to some troll on the Internet?

  • JoshHenry

    HTC paid someone for these commercials. Really?

  • Troof

    Still better than that horrible LG bearded hand commercial. That commercial had to be the worst phone ad I have ever seen.

  • Curtis

    I think it’s a very risky move, but perhaps not the worst. I probably would have given them search terms at the very least though.

  • Fresh360

    I have nothing but respect for advertising people they are very talented. Anyone that can make you laugh, feel empathy, or want a product in 30 secs are wizards in my book. So I know it isnt an easy job but HTC should go less abstract and just sell the phone. No fancy ‘Car Washes’, no ominous Gary Oldhams, just show us a pretty pic of the phone talk about features and then in later spots show it creating a Zoe of a young puppy turning into a vibrant dog who misses you when you go to college (Hello Google). Just do something HTC I am rooting for you.

  • Sporttster

    With HTC not putting in a better larger pixel camera and battery, it may very well be the ‘One and done’…..

  • M3D1T8R

    FYI if you decide to buy One on contract, the coupon code “VERIZON30”
    still works for 30% off ($60) the normal “$200” contract price, dropping
    it to $140 (or “VZWDEAL” works for $50 off). Still have to pay the $30
    upgrade/$35 activation fee, and of course taxes.
    (sorry for the multiple posts in different articles but I’m just trying to get this out
    to anyone looking to buy this, to save you guys some dollars!!)

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    I’m glad they said it. A lot of people don’t even watch YouTube videos on phones they are about to get and maybe even plan options.

  • deskjob

    If this is the ONLY spot HTC has, then it’s epic fail, period.

    But I guess it could work, if HTC does something like a mini series of related ads so they tell a story – maybe a couple follow-up spots that actually show people looking up the M8 on the net?

  • DRaY

    HTC why do you do this?? Pleas make a phone with a 5000mah battery, 64 gb storage or option for SD card , no HTC sense and a decent camera and you will win!!! how hard is that?????

    • Fresh360

      5000mah battery not gonna happen for any1 anytime soon, the HTC ONE does have a SD card slot with support up to 128GB, and by all accounts the camera is actually quite decent (stellar no but decent)…So they actually did what you wanted, how many are you buying?

    • Curtis

      They are also releasing a GPE… with no Sense!

  • Chris VanAnden

    Not going to lie. I actually like the commercial. Those of us with any type of interest in specs don’t really care what a commercial has to say. You, at droid life, are doing the marketing for them. Hell they should have just said “go to droid-life”. We’ll review the hell out of it here.

  • Matthew Galea

    This is a commercial aimed directly at those of us criticizing HTC. They are basically telling us we’re assholes and they don’t care what we have to say. They think the phone will sell itself. Unfortunately it won’t and I think we’re about to watch HTC go the way of the Blackberry or at least hopefully get bought out by another company. It’s sad really. The phone is beautiful, but horribly flawed.

  • flosserelli

    HTC has no freaking clue how to capture the attention of buyers outside of their home market. In the last commercial (the longer one), Gary Oldman says absolutely nothing from 0:34 seconds until the end. Seriously, HTC? If I was flipping through channels and caught the last half of this commercial, I would skip it and keep moving on. I have zero interest in Gary Oldman or any other celebrity staring at me for half a minute, saying nothing. Damn, HTC…please get a clue.

    • LionStone

      Yea that was weird.

  • a) youth.in.asia

    We could keep making commercials, but ask the internet

  • jnt

    I guess it *could* pique curiosity on the whole thing, but they need to saturate mainstream media, primetime TV, etc. with it. If they do that, I could see it possibly working for them. But that’s definitely being optimistic. If they can’t get it into people’s brains, it’ll be a failed marketing campaign.

    Regardless, I don’t get why these marketers can’t just see the simplicity in showing off what a phone can DO. Get an ad out there that shows the pragmatic strengths of the phone, and hammer that ad into people’s heads.

    • Fresh360

      I just came here to applaud the proper use of ‘pique’ Lil Baby Geezus 6lb 7oz shall bless you…

  • skinja

    Why can’t they just show the phone, show what it does, show how nice it looks, show how great the sound/screen/build is, and let people see it.
    Jesus, most people don’t even know what HTC or the One is. Way to confuse your customers, HTC.

    • CMON_SON

      If you’re not smart enough to find out on your own you probably don’t deserve one. HTC advertises to the smart, not the ones that just follow.

  • D.B.Evans

    Not the greatest advertising campaign ever … but compared to the HTC campaign last year with Robert Downey Jr., it’s a whole lot better.

    Then again, it would’ve been a true challenge to make ads that were worse than HTC’s RDJ adverts.

  • The Narrator

    I guess they couldn’t afford RDJ. He is worth $75 million + after all

    • PoisonApple31

      Why would HTC want him? His celebrity didn’t do anything for HTC marketing last time. LG on the other hand could use him w/ an Ironman promo.

  • Pratik Holla

    wow….that was pretty terrible.

  • magiccoupons

    Use M83 for great puns everywhere with the M8
    “It’s not called the M8, it’s called the M83”

    • moew

      I get the M8 as Mate, but the three part, Matey-three? Emmm ate three… nope not getting it. You are going to have to spell this one out.

      Ohhh, M8E is my submission Matey! I glad a came up with that, much better than yours.

      • magiccoupons

        Yeah, there is the m8 as in mate joke, I meant the band m83 could do some promos with it but perhaps not the best idea as you’ve just demonstrated that people probably won’t know who they are….

        • moew

          I have no idea who they are. So that might work better than the videos here!!!!!

          • trumpet444

            M83 is awesome. I first heard of them when they remixed a Bloc Party song back in ’05

          • nosedive94

            If they used M83, they’d steal Apple’s hipster market instantly.

  • Demolition505

    He should have at least wore his Dracula costume.

    • Sporttster

      Dis is de Von, bla bla bla!

  • James

    the internet? mostly review positive so far..

    • Nexoduss

      Yeah from htcs inner circle that were probably paid to give positive reviews.

  • WitnessG

    If this is their idea of marketing then they are not going to go anywhere. Also telling people to ask the internet is not a good idea.

  • jb

    Perhaps NOT the best idea. Asking the Internet will turn up info on the Thunderbolt, Rezound, etc and the fact that they were colossal failures and that HTC left their customers high and dry with crappy devices!

    • moew

      “Ok Google Now”

      I’m not sure they actually used the technology!!

    • Kevin

      You’re going to get a lot of results about that bezel. lol

    • dns2k

      but we can agree the orig one fixed many of those issues. plus those were Verizon specific with vzw “anti-root/bloatware filled” post “Gnex consumer root love” with”Vzw control-freak” blunders as well. granted they delivered a product with their name on it but it had vzw’s as well. their early droid and att/t-mo’s were at the time solid products but as far as our vzw viewpoint and solid market share stats they took it in the financial nuts. by legal definitions i wonder how much the T-bolt was changed by vzw stipulations from announcement to final overdue release, and how much it suffered from vzw involvement.

    • KingofPing

      Right? Between the “OMG Berzerhl!” and the herp-derp Camera wonks, “asking the internet” is just “asking for trouble”.

  • Arnold

    ……………. ?