The HTC One needs a broader campaign and a different nameAnna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
There have been numerous talks, comparisons, and even some reviews out for the HTC One already from mobile users around the world. Without a doubt it's one of the more highly anticipated devices to hit the market this year. The HTC One seems like a winner of a device with its sleek aluminum body, front-facing speakers, and introduction of Sense 5. However, while it seems that there's a lot of focus on the device is going on here in the mobile industry from within our own communities and websites, who else really knows about the HTC One? Advertisements have been mum from the parent company, if any at all, and it's starting to reflect when I talk to my friends who aren't always in the up and up when it comes to all things mobile.
I guess this conclusion really came up while I was visiting family over the weekend. My relatives like discussing new phones, although they're not really big in the industry. Every once in a while they catch a glimpse of some advertisement or billboard somewhere and ask me what I think of this phone or that phone. The Galaxy S 4 was inevitably mentioned, but when I was finished talking about what I thought about the Galaxy S 4 I made mention of the HTC One. However, their response wasn’t "I've never heard of that device," it was more like "But that device is kind of outdated now, isn't it?" Oh. They thought I was talking about the HTC One X.
So now we've got two problems with this scenario: the common consumer who relies on others to help them find a mobile device knows next to nothing about the HTC One, and the name is so similar to another HTC device that people think that it's an older model of phone. Not that great of a start.
For a while I thought maybe I had just been living under a rock; maybe I was just missing said advertisements. I watch a lot of YouTube reviews and videos and not once have I seen a commercial for the HTC One. No billboards, no TV commercials, nothing. When doing a little more research, it turns out that the campaign for the HTC One actually started today, when the phone is due to release on April 19th. That's two weeks of advertising for a phone that deserves a lot more recognition in my opinion. It's worth mentioning that I've been browsing videos all day and still have yet to come across an HTC One ad.
I read that the advertisements will be aimed at people interested in TV, film, and music - which makes sense because watching movies or TV on a 4.7-inch screen, or listening to music on clear cut front-facing speakers that incorporate Beats Audio is what the phone is made for. The problem is so many people would rather watch movies on their phone or on the computer instead of in theatres or even on actual television sets that the advertisements are going unseen. HTC seemed to have put a lot of time and effort into the device itself but neglected to realize that advertising is just as important as making a good, reliable product. This is something I had hoped they would realize after seeing the hype surrounding the Samsung Galaxy S 4, which had crazy amounts of in-your-face advertising.
It's not that HTC is unaware either. To be honest I don’t know where they’re coming from this go around. If you take a look back at 2010, the HTC EVO 4G had a great deal of advertisement. Maybe it was because it was the first 4G device on the market and the start of a revolution, but there's nothing that the Samsung Galaxy S 4 has over the HTC One that makes one worth more hype than the other - both have interesting features that are easily played up. But it seems that Samsung played their cards right this round, and even though the One is supposed to be in direct competition with the Galaxy S 4, if this campaign doesn't flow like HTC wants it to I'm afraid it's going to be the end of the end for HTC.
The HTC One looks like a beautifully designed device, and it shows that HTC put a lot of effort into making it. However, if enough people don't know about it I'm just not sure I have a lot of faith in seeing it end up anywhere special in the near future. We've already forgotten about the HTC EVO 4G LTE, and even the One X series for the most part. But here we are, still talking about just about every iPhone ever made and the Samsung Galaxy line of devices. I hope the HTC One doesn't get tossed aside in just a few short months as well.
Readers, what are your predictions with the HTC One? Do you think that the campaign plus word-of-mouth will win people over, or do you feel like this is the end of the line for HTC?