Gary Oldman Shines, Despite the Weather, in HTC’s New Anti-Advertising

Rare ad work from the actor

Rather than drone on about product features or provide a demonstration, Gary Oldman instructs viewers to "Ask the Internet" if they want to learn more about the HTC One M8 smartphone in a pair of spots from Deutsch L.A.

The agency just took over the HTC America account, which spent less than a year at Ogilvy & Mather L.A. Robert Downey Jr. appeared in HTC's last big push (from Ogilvy's WPP stablemate 171 Worldwide), which consisted of fast-moving, noisy, colorful spots sending up the ad business itself, with the actor riffing on what the letters "HTC" could stand for.

Deutsch's work with Oldman, who rarely appears in ads, has a very different vibe. The grizzled, bespectacled thespian propels the "anti-advertising" concept by wandering around a retro-modern hilltop pad during a late-night rainstorm.

In one spot, he says "blah blah blah" a lot, interspersed with lines like, "It doesn't matter what I say, because the all-new HTC One is designed for people who form their own opinions." In the other, he takes an uncomfortably long dramatic pause, during which viewers are supposed flock to the Internet to check out the phone. Outside his window, the rain continues to fall.

This cheeky, pseudo-noir approach, awash in blues, blacks and moody reds, provides a counterpoint to the cheerful bent and bright hues of some spots from competitors like Apple, Motorola and Samsung. It's also a big change from HTC's work with Downey. Oldman shines, even though the weather is gloomy.

"Gary crosses genres and is recognized for craftsmanship in his field," said Erin McGee, HTC's vp of North America. "He's aspirational but approachable, if you think about all the roles he's played in movies and cable TV. It's a great fit for our brand."

Still, maybe Oldman should grab his HTC One and ask the Internet when that damn rain will clear up.

Client: HTC America
President: Jason Mackenzie
Vice President, Marketing: Erin McGee
Senior Director, Brand: Zola Kane

Agency: Deutsch, Los Angeles
Chief Creative Officer: Pete Favat
Group Creative Director: Gavin Lester
Art Director: Nick Spahr
Copywriter: Alex Flint
Director of Integrated Production: Vic Palumbo
Executive Producer: Rachel Seitel
Production Resource Manager: Evan Aronson
Music Director: Dave Rocco

Production Company: Reset, Los Angeles
Director: Johnny Green
Director of Photography: Mathew Libatique
Managing Partner, Executive Producer: Dave Morrison
Executive Producer: Jeff McDougall
Head of Production: Jen Beitler
Producer: Heather Heller

Editing Company: Final Cut, Los Angeles
Editors: Jeff Buchanan, Adam Rudd
Executive Producer: Saima Awan
Assistant Editor: Hilary Ruggiano
Producer: Suzy Ramirez

Post Facility (Edit): Final Cut, Los Angeles
Editor: Jeff Buchanan
Executive Producer: Saima Awan
Assistant Editor: Hilary Ruggiano
Producer: Suzy Ramirez

Post Facility (Color, Online): MPC, Santa Monica, Calif.
Colorist: Mark Gethin
Visual Effects Lead: Mark Holden:
Compositors: Ben Davidson, Jason Heinze, Arthur Argote, Adrian Leva
Executive Producer: Elexis Stearn
Producers: Abisayo Adejare, Brian Friel

Music Composition: Human, Los Angeles
Sound Design: Henryboy, Los Angeles

Audio Post Company: Lime Studios, Santa Monica, Calif.
Mixer: Loren Silber
Executive Producer: Jessica Locke

End Tag: Laundry, Los Angeles

Additional Deutsch Credits:
Chief Executive Officer: Mike Sheldon
Chief Operating Officer, Partner: Kim Getty
Group Account Director: John McGonigle
Account Directors: Lauren Pollare, Megan Prince
Account Supervisor: Tanya Oh
Director of Business Affairs: Abilino Guillermo
Business Manager: Georgette Bivins
Director or Broadcast Traffic: Carie Bonillo