'Iron Man' Robert Downey Jr. back with HTC One M8 spot

It's back to basics as the actor talks up HTC's new flagship smartphone.

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The HTC One M8 stacked up on top of the original One. Sarah Tew/CNET

Iron Man is back touting the HTC One M8.

Actor Robert Downey Jr. has a new YouTube video up promoting HTC's latest flagship smartphone. The video takes a stripped-down approach, with Downey Jr. speaking directly to the viewer about his love for the new M8.

Downey Jr.'s commercial follows a series of ads featuring actor Gary Oldman, and is part of a more aggressive approach by HTC to promote its phones. Learning its lesson from a year ago, HTC is hoping to go bolder and cut through some of the noise -- namely from Samsung and its Galaxy S5 marketing juggernaut -- and avoid getting overshadowed by its larger rival.

HTC has tapped Downey Jr. to appear in a series of ads last year promoting the HTC brand. But that campaign, under the title "HTChange," was deemed by industry observers as nonsensical and ultimately ineffective.

Downey Jr.'s new spot utilizes the actor's charm and dry wit, as he introduces himself as an "occasional self-important film icon and humble servant of mankind."

To show that he's "serious" about the HTC One M8, he talks up the phone in an "Old English accent."

"Do it now, or I shall be possessed by a most foul spirit!" he bellows at the end.

It's also a little odd listening to Downey Jr. talk about tech journalists awarding the HTC One the title of smartphone of the year at Mobile World Congress (twice in a row), but he gets his point across.

Here's his original HTC commercial, which wasn't nearly as effective:

 

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