When can a blah HTC ad be not so blah? When it features Gary Oldman

All you have to do, says Oldman, is ask the Internet. Because the Internet knows everything. And nothing. So he can just look at the camera and say "Blah." Which he does very well.

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Was he wearing Blahniks? HTC/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

At least he didn't ram it down our throats.

At least he didn't say it's the greatest phone since the last great HTC phone. Which was great, but not that many people bought it.

Instead, to launch HTC's new One M3858ZT5XA -- or something like that -- we have an ad with Gary Oldman talking in his real British accent, not bothering to plug HTC's phone at all.

After many expressions of "blah," he explains: "It doesn't matter what I say. Because the all-new HTC One is designed for people who form their own opinions."

In which case, it's clearly designed for no one at all. Modern humanity is merely a tribe of plagiarists and borrowers, mooching on social networks in search of today's socially correct answer.

Still, Oldman wishes to express HTC's blase confidence in its new phone: "So go ahead, ask the Internet."

I understand that the Internet feels this is a very fine phone. Just as Oldman is a very fine actor. And just as there is a very fine line between confidence and arrogance.

This ad manages to walk it well, though only just. The "form your own opinions" thing is a touch tired. But this ad makes for a considerable contrast to previous HTC One ads, for example, the haunting "Bachelorette" parody, one that wrapped the line around itself until it choked.

It's relaxed. It invites you in and gives you a generous pour of whiskey.

It almost says: "Bloody hell, we have to make an ad and we're sick of trying too hard, so let's not try that much at all. Well, except for paying a famous actor a lot of money to not try that much at all."

Will it help HTC sell more of this phone? Perhaps. A pleasant level of blahse can't hurt.

 

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