And today’s new agency from WPP is 171 Worldwide for HTC – with Robert Downey Jnr

WPP is becoming more like a department store than a holding company: what sort of agency would you like Mr Client? A big one that produces average stuff everywhere (Team Detroit for Ford) or something a bit more fashionable? One like 171 Worldwide, for HTC?

171 Worldwide is indeed WPP’s newest bespoke agency, customised for new HTC CMO Ben Ho and his allegedly $1bn marketing budget. What’s more it comes with Robert Downey Jnr (which presumably accounts for a fair bit of the fee).

Quite where ‘171’ comes from is a mystery but the ad campaign’s new strapline ‘Here’s To Change’ is rather easier to source. Taiwan-based HTC is in danger of joining those other casualties of the mobile revolution like BlackBerry (which signed up Rihanna on a similar deal, to absolutely no effect) and Nokia so this looks like a gambler’s last throw.

The company has entirely failed to convert itself from a highly-regarded handset supplier to other brands into a successful consumer brand, flitting among a number of agencies including Mother in the UK and McCann, for about three weeks.

Can Downey, who seems to be creative director as well as performer, work his magic? Here’s a taster/trailer.

Hmm. Wacky guy in boardroom is hardly original but there’s only 16 seconds of it. We shall see.

You May Also Like

advertising BlackBerry global ad campaign htc team detroit

About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.