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HTC starts major advertising push

updated 10:20 am EDT, Mon October 26, 2009

HTC You campaign inverts iPhone tactic

HTC today began its first ever large-scale marketing campaign aimed at boosting its market share. The "You" promos will include TV ads (viewable below), billboards and other spots and is ultimately expected to reach 95 percent of US cellphone users as many as 36 times before the end of the year. The 10 largest markets, including Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York City and Seattle, will receive particularly heavy advertising.

The approach is characterized as deliberately opposite from that of Apple and shifts the focus to how the smartphone can adapt to people rather than focusing solely on apps or hardware. An initial ad, "Anthem," focuses on real situations such as those working late or checking to see if someone is safe. Later ads three weeks in are expected to center on more specific features.

Advertising of the sort is timed crucially for HTC, which has seen its profit slump as it has struggled to gain recognition compared to more heavily-promoted rivals like the BlackBerry or iPhone. The Taiwan-area phone maker is considered the strongest backer of both Android and Windows Mobile and is often considered one of the largest alternatives for modern smartphones as a result. It already provides Windows Mobile phones to all four US carriers and should serve three out of four with Android by the end of this year following the Hero (pictured), myTouch 3G and Verizon's upcoming Droid Eris.

by MacNN Staff



  1. avedon

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Great Ad

    It is all about "you" and not "i"

  1. phillymjs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I've had 3 HTC phones

    ...all different models (PPC-6700, PPC-6800, Touch Pro), company-issued, running Windows Mobile. They have gotten better over the years but still pretty much suck-- mostly due to Windows Mobile, but the hardware was not great, either, IMHO.

    I've only had the Touch Pro since mid-August, so time will tell if it stands up to the rigors of daily use.

  1. c4rlob

    Joined: Dec 1969


    one word - strong, but

    ...almost too strong and not strong enough at the same time.
    Too strong, because I'm not sure people like the idea of being told in an ad that a phone is so "emotionally" crucial to their lives (even though they might admit it privately or amongst friends).

    Not strong enough because the whole "You" thing is being done by many products now. And I think you have to make a connection with people based on being an entire company "that gets you"; not just one phone that gets "you". I think people have figured out they want more than just one product; they want a great company that has the ability to deliver great product after great product, year after year after year (similar to Apple's track record).

    But still a strong introductory ad that definitely puts Microsoft ads to shame.

  1. grawlix

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I give this ad 4 out of 65

    The reason iPhone is having such great success is its ease of use. It's winning in survey after survey. If you watch the iPhone ads, the user interface is the sole focus - it's on screen for 25 of each 30 seconds ad. You can go into an Apple store and freely play with the iPhone before you buy it. Apple is proud to show you exactly how iPhone works.

    This HTC ad runs for 65 seconds and shows the actual interface of the phone for 4 seconds. In most (probably all) the places you buy HTC, they have dummy handsets on display. You can't play with them until you buy them. YOU have to trust and hope HTC smartphone can adapt to people.


  1. zelrik

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Good start

    @ gr@wl!x

    I actually prefer that advertisement. I think it generates interest in the product. The reason they show people hanging around using their phone is because they want to show that they are interested in the people and not only in selling their product. Also if's the beginning of a series of ads, they have plenty of time to show the interface later.

    I completely agree with you on the dummy handset on display, it sucks, but HTC is not the same category as Apple either. I mean, not all phone makers can afford to put their phone on display the way Apple does, it requires some good marketing muscle to do that. If you put your stuff on display, you need to make sure the retailers are trained and will handle any question on the product. Also you need to make sure your product has much better value than the other product on display or it could backfire.

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