Set to launch its flagship smartphone, the One M9 in store today (1 April), HTC is looking to stand out in a competitive smartphone market with a new multichannel campaign.
Ben Walsh, head of marketing for HTC told Marketing Week that the brand’s core aim is to ‘cut through’ with its brand message and delivery across channels.
“We’re in the most competitive market on the planet, in the most hard-fought territory in the world. HTC is making grounds in this space. We’ve seen increased brand preference quarter on quarter throughout 2014 and 2015 and increasing belief in the product and the partners we uptake.
“This year we worked really hard to ensure that we have a campaign that stands out. It would be hard-put to say this campaign won’t cut through, it’s very visual and very smart in the way in delivers the message,” he adds.
HTC’s new campaign looks to make a mark after its share of the smartphone market has faltered in the last three years, moving from double-digits to 2%. Its competitors Samsung and Apple own 20.1% and 19.85% of the market respectively, according to Statista.
With the tagline ‘Let them stare’, HTC will adapt across channels, according to Walsh. He said that HTC has adapted the campaign so that a clear message is presented no matter which platform it appears on, whether it is static, audio or visual.
The new ad moves away from the work that the company has formerly done with Robert Downey Junior, with the latest ad featuring simple imagery of groups of friends running through a museum and a man rollerblading in the center of a busy city.
The ad features buzz-word captions throughout, such as ‘epic everything’, ‘let them stare’ and ‘make some noise’.
Walsh told Marketing Week that the campaign will fit in with the wider HTC brand positioning, which he says is “the pursuit of brilliance”.
“We try and be the best we can possibly be in terms of design. Our campaign formula is to provide the best possible equipment so that people can be the best version of themselves, as they use highly functioning social, audio and video.”
The “you unlimited” approach is tied to HTC’s One Life message that was revealed at Mobile World Congress earlier this month. Walsh told Marketing Week that this year’s campaign for its flagship smartphone will see the company move from a product focused campaign to a lifestyle led campaign.
This March, the brand has encountered further changes as HTC’s CEO of 10 years, Peter Chou, is set to be replaced by Cher Wang. However, despite a turbulent few years for the brand, Ben Wood, CCS Insight’s lead researcher for mobile told Marketing Week that the latest campaign is a step in the right direction.
Wood says: “After the somewhat oblique Robert Downey Junior ads for the previous model this new campaign is more direct; I think that’s a positive direction to move in.
“Focusing on a few standout features such as the BoomSound speakers is essential when customers are finding it almost impossible to differentiate between the devices on offer.
“HTC is clearly targeting a younger demographic with these ads. I believe it is trying to pitch its brand as a cool alternative to Apple and Samsung who now dominate the market for smartphones.”