HTC's Misguided Marketing

HTC need to stop copying and/or poorly executing their recent products and marketing. 

In October HTC released the HTC One A9. They managed to outdo Samsung in completely copying the design of Apple's iPhone 6. Recent performance seems to show they are probably banking the future of the company on this new phone, which makes you wonder why they chose to ape Apple's industrial design so closely. Perhaps some misguided hope of netting some sales from confused customers?

Anyway, I'm not sure how the phone is performing, but the marketing can hardly be helping.

First up, they come out with this thing. A film which states 'Be Different' triumphantly, almost as a rally cry to anyone who might be a sheep in wanting a highly superior device. It then proceeds to poorly copy and execute an interpretation of Ridley Scott's infamous 1984 Apple ad. At this moment they are behaving like a Bizarro Apple.

Then this ad comes out. It's doing the thing unimaginative brands and agencies do, which is to rely on the updated features in the product to market it to consumers. So we get a roll call of the same amazing thing that smartphones have been doing for years. Show us the benefits! To make it even harder to grasp, they set it in a studio with a model who struggles to express the needed emotions when required.

Years ago Microsoft created a brilliant internal film which poked fun at themselves if they designed the iPod’s packaging. Here in three minutes we have a perfect example of the difference in marketing with emotion and the human benefit versus the colder roll call of features so common especially in tech advertising.

It’s got to be hard for an agency to create compelling advertising when it seems clear that even though HTC created a carbon copy iPhone, they want to distance it so much from Apple in its marketing (and almost diss them). 

It is advertising in a vacuum, it isn’t aware of its surroundings, the real world. So it all feels so inauthentic. It’s the elephant in the room, and no one wants to say it. But audiences will see it and they definitely won't buy it.