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