Being the plucky mobile underdog in the fiery caldera of the smartphone market means HTC absolutely has to do things differently to grab some attention. So that means bringing “the ruckus” to its marketing messages, as it puts it.
Whether that’s, in recent years, Ironman spitting out ridiculous acronyms. Or the latest video ad to bear its three-letter stamp (via the Verge): a rap tribute called ‘Hold The Crown‘, apparently written by HTC “superfan” Doc G of hip-hop outfit P.M. Dawn — with lyrics like “your smartphone’s scared; they don’t want to clash with a titan”… “we own the universe; your Galaxy is overrated” and “make like the nerdy bloggers; put it in your pocket now”.
And — yes there’s more — especially awkward backing moves courtesy of a skinny, white HTC America marketing guy, called David Bruce. LinkedIn lists Bruce as a regional account exec for HTC, but he’s rebranded as ‘MC D-Bruce‘ for the purposes of this video parody. We hope.
I say parody, but the effect is more intentional self-mockery. Subtext: the ‘H’ in HTC stands for sense of Humor, yo… After all, this is not the first time we’ve enjoyed the smartphone market’s most maverick maker sending itself up to bag some eyeballs. Remember this?
Call the rap cringeworthy if you like — well it is, and that’s kinda the point — but I for one salute HTC’s CEO Peter Chou for possessing a funny bone and for letting his marketing department rap all over it.
There is of course nothing more tedious and less humanizing than gadgetry that takes itself too seriously. Add to that, pulling off this level of awkward corporate cringe actually takes some creative sweating toil.
And the video appears to have struck the right chord with that most notoriously hard to impress demographic: YouTube commenters.
So perhaps HTC is onto something with its WTF marketing. Take a bow Chou /Turn it loose Bruce.
One thing’s for sure: HTC is certainly besting Android upstart rival Xiaomi in the funny video stakes. Unless the subtle genius of frying pan-based slap-stick is lost in translation.
Judge for yourself…