Having made a big splash by moving so early in the Android market, Taiwan's HTC has come under intense pressure lately as its year-long position as sole Android vendor comes to an end with launches from Samsung, Motorola and - soon - LG and Sony Ericsson.
Its heartland market, Windows Mobile, where it has the lead, is also losing share.
HTC is biting back with the launch of its first global branding campaign, trying to leave behind its low-end, white-label roots forever and associate itself with high-end smartphones, as well as tapping into the growth in mass market mobile web usage.
The global advertising program aims to make HTC a household name, and will be rolled out across 20 countries over the next few weeks. Its slogan is “You don't need to get a phone. You need a phone that gets you.”
The so-called YOU campaign “is focused on driving broad, global visibility and understanding of HTC's unique brand promise - that it's all about YOU, the consumer, and in fact not the device.” The campaign will target television, print, outdoor and online media. HTC would not reveal its budget, except to say it is in the “tens of millions of dollars.”
This is the latest stage in a multiyear process of making HTC into a full brand rather than a vendor focused mainly on carrier-badged handsets. It has also announced a new brand positioning called 'Quietly Brilliant'. HTC worked with Los Angeles-based advertising agency Deutsch LA.
It says the ads are designed to reach 95% of the US population at least 36 times by the end of the year and will continue to run in 2010.
Last month, HTC saw its third quarter profit sink for the fifth quarter in a row, but it continues to innovate on the product front with its Sense user interface and the upcoming HD2 touchscreen smartphone.