HTC's You Ads Pwn Yahoo's You


HTC, the white label phone maker, lest it upset its carrier customers, has stayed away from advertising its products. No more — as a company with ambitions to become a major player in the smartphone business, HTC recently unveiled a new campaign for its touchscreen smartphones, many of them powered by Google’s (s GOOG) Android OS. These include devices such as Sprint Hero and T-Mobile’s myTouch. Google’s G1 and G2 are two other models rolled out by HTC in the market.

The company is rolling out its first global advertising push, the YOU campaign, across 20 countries in the coming weeks. Its tag line: “You don’t need to get a phone. You need a phone that gets you.” This campaign is simple, elegant, emotional, and actually gets the message across. In comparison, the You ad campaign by Yahoo (s YHOO) is a disaster.


David Porter

Agreed, Om. The ad is really well done, and I think the music (Felix Da Housecat’s 2003 remix of Nina Simone’s 1965 classic, Sinnerman) adds an epic appeal.

Om Malik

That song is pretty awesome. Remember it being used in a movie starring Pierce Brosnan. I forget the name. That is a seriously cool track.

Jeff Reine

Thomas Crowne Affair (the remake) as coop mentions…

brilliant creative + spot-on messaging = a helluva way for htc to introduce itself to the broader public.

but i’m still getting the Droid.


This is a great ad, and pays off the mysterious “you” billboard’s I’ve seen all around Los Angeles for weeks. Compare this to Yahoo’s ad (just an uninspired montage of stock footage and international scenes) and it’s miles ahead. I knew little about this company before, but they score points for their style. The music is a remix of Nina Simone, the original version also played at the end of The Thomas Crown Affair.


In my opinion, from an ad stand point, it’s simply brilliant; the vision, the music, the message.
As someone stated in an earlier post, it’s adds like this that make me want ot see HTC succeed.

Peter Farago

I am also a big fan of this ad campaign. Compared to the Droid comparative ads that point out iPhone’s shortcomings, this positions from the positive, which I think will score more points with consumers. Very well executed creatively, and clearly based on strong marketing research and understanding of the target audience. Well done, HTC!

David Kuder

On I-80 leaving San Francisco there is a Yahoo billboard, followed by HTC billboards.
Makes for an easy compare and contrast.

Jean-Claude Homawoo

Om, cool article. Just a quick note: HTC is no longer a white label device manufacturer, I believe they’ve completely exited that space and are now 100% branded OEM.

Om Malik

Agreed… I think they are transitioning into this new brand and the ad campaign is part of that effort. I really applaud them from taking this massive step. Interesting company which shows that upstarts can become mega-consumer brands in this day and age


I’m also a big fan of this commercial. It’s advertising like this that makes me want to reward companies with a purchase. . . . But I seem to be doing the opposite. My Hero is packed up and ready to return, and I have a DROID in my near future. (And ironically, I’m NOT a fan of the iDon’t commercials.)

I guess in the end, it’s all about how the product matches the consumer. And timing is everything.


These ads are supposedly a direct reflection of the style and attitudes of the CEO of HTC instead of a campaign invented solely by some marketing exec to position and sell a product. I really enjoyed them. The ads have inspired me to want HTC to succeed.

Fred Posner

Saw this ad many times this weekend. Truly loved it. Not often an ad gets everything right… music, copy, visuals, message. All works. Great ad.

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