7 Marketing Implications of the Oculus Rift Being Available to Consumers

Facebook's $2 billion baby Oculus Rift finally started shipping headsets to consumers today, a much-needed move to make virtual reality more mainstream.

24 Hours in Advertising: Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Here's everything you need to know about the last 24 hours in advertising, in case you blinked. Buzzing on Adweek:

HTC’s Absurd Rap Anthem Is So Joyously Bad, You Have to Love It

"We own the universe. Galaxy is overrated." If you enjoy that level of hyperbole from a scrappy smartphone underdog like HTC, you're going to love the brand's ridiculously self-indulgent new rap video, "Hold the Crown."

Siri Is an Insecure Diva in Microsoft’s Latest Windows Phone Ad

Microsoft is making a habit out of mocking Siri. Apple's personal assistant faces her Windows Phone rival, Cortana, in a new ad from M:United hawking the HTC One M8 smartphone. Cortana also went against the iPhone's voice concierge in a commercial earlier this summer. That spot focused on how Siri was comparatively inept. Now, she is cast as a diva. That probably rings true for anyone who's ever wrestled with that functionality on an iOS device. Cortana, though, is at the disadvantage here of having to explain why she's better and what hardware she occupies. Everyone recognizes an iPhone and Siri—the whole concept stands on the competition's shoulders. At the same time, Apple bashing is a quick and easy way to get millions of YouTube views, as Samsung proved. So, it's not surprising to see Microsoft try a similar strategy. Plus, it's paying Apple back, in a small way, for all the knocks in the old "Get a Mac" campaign. Though it is perhaps telling that this approach frames the battle primarily in terms of miniature faceless robots, instead of humans. Credits below.

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

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.

Deutsch L.A. Lands HTC North America

HTC America has returned to Deutsch L.A. after the smart phone manufacturer left Ogilvy & Mather L.A. late last year.

Google Interface May Change Smartwatch Game

Google doesn’t just have one smartwatch in the works—it has a number of new wearables designed by a variety of electronics makers and fashion companies.

Times Square Plus Facebook and WeChat Equals 54,000 Photo Submissions for HTC

Brands don't typically allow campaign metrics to go public unless they've exceeded expectations. With that in mind, HTC today says a just-wrapped 11-week campaign that mixed global social media with Times Square ads drew 54,000 photo submissions.

Are Celebrity Social Endorsements Worth the Big Bucks or the Gamble?

In the brave new world of social media, marketers are doubling down on celebrity endorsements, banking on stars’ earned media mojo to help their campaigns catch fire.

Adweek’s Top 10 Commercials of the Week: Aug. 9-16