What do you get when you combine parkour with a complete rip off of one of the most iconic commercials of all time? HTC’s new ad for their HTC One A9. The phone itself has already come under fire for looking a little too much like everybody’s favorite smartphone, and now the company has doubled down on the comparisons to Apple with a commercial that bears more than a passing resemblance to the famous “1984” advertisement.
Where Apple’s commercial argued for people to be different in order to break out of their technological dystopia, HTC’s portrays a guy in a hoodie climbing up the walls of a mansion and getting stuck in rooms that resemble Eyes Wide Shut more than they do George Orwell’s idea of a bleak conformist future. It’s decidedly less effective in shaking off the veil of consumerism.
Not only does HTC completely rip off the overall idea of Apple’s commercial, it tries to go even further than that with a supposed dig toward their competitor at the end. Our hero (“hero”?) runs across a dinner table seated with identical dolls and kicks a tray of apples into the air halfway through. Get it? Apples? They’re a fruit and also a company that HTC is trying to compete with? It’s subtle!
Regardless of whether HTC is copying a 30-year old ad or not, it should be noted that the commercial itself isn’t even that good. Every company under the sun is using a variation of “Be Brilliant” as the driving force for buyers to switch to their product. Plus, when your company is being accused of making a product eerily similar to the market leader and then you all but copy their best commercial, there are a lot of unfortunate ways that people could turn “be brilliant” against you. Maybe next time just go with a simple phone against a white background and music playing? Oh…wait…