HTC Is Back With Deutsch LA

Mobile phone marketer HTC America is back with Deutsch LA.

The phone maker selected Deutsch LA for U.S. agency of record duties without a formal review and just in time for the launch of the company’s latest HTC One phone, which is making its debut this week.

Deutsch LA originally won the HTC business after a review in 2009. The agency’s “YOU” campaign introduced the brand to the U.S. market.  About a year ago, the account shifted to WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather, which introduced a new somewhat off-kilter campaign with Robert Downey Jr.

But the relationship with Ogilvy fizzled, and the client reached out to Deutsch a couple of months back to talk about reuniting. “It’s good to be back again with HTC at this stage of its brand development,” said Mike Sheldon, CEO, Deutsch LA. “They make the most amazing smartphones in the world, and we want to make sure everyone knows it.”

Deutsch will be handling integrated creative work for HTC in North America for the brand and individual phones, including the new HTC One model. While Downey’s endorsement deal reportedly still has some time to run, the actor will not be part of the new work from Deutsch, according to sources.

The company’s U.S. ad budget has been up and down sharply in recent years, according to Kantar. Last year, HTC spent $75 million on ads, up nearly 75% from the $43 million it spent in 2012. That was down appreciably from the $118 million it placed on ads in 2011.

Erin McGee, vice president of marketing, HTC America, said that Deutsch LA is “a partner that truly understands HTC and the amazing opportunity we have in North America, so we’re excited about what we’ll accomplish in our next chapter together.”

HTC struggled last year financially, posting a 28% drop in fourth quarter revenues. Last month, when it disclosed results for the final 2013 quarter, HTC CEO Peter Chou hinted at a coming change in marketing tactics saying “we are going to communicate better with consumers.” 

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