robert downey jr

HTC has reportedly enlisted the help of Robert Downey Jr., now at the height of his career with the Iron Man series and Sherlock Holmes, for a two-year marketing campaign. According to Bloomberg, the Hollywood star will be used in TV, print and billboard advertising as part of the $12 million deal—Downey will allegedly have some creative control over the ads.

Marketing has never been HTC's strong suit, especially against bigger companies such as Apple and Samsung. The Taiwanese company this year said it would have a renewed focus on marketing its products, and that's further being highlighted by this high-profile partnership. The potential comparisons between Iron Man and the aluminum HTC One practically write themselves.

However, the deal could just feature Downey as himself, as Bloomberg notes, and not any of his characters. Still, the associations will likely be made, giving HTC the power and flexibility to really push for that next tier in the smartphone market. If it keeps making devices such as the One, we can definitely see the company putting a slight strain on Samsung's growing dominance.