HTC stirred quite som controversy when it released the One A9 smartphone a few weeks ago, mainly due to the fact that it was easy to mistake it for an iPhone 6.
Leaving the controversial design choices of HTC aside, reviewers agree that the device is as capable as any other smartphone of its class. The main difference compared to the iPhone lies in the OS that powers the handset.
The latest advertising campaign from HTC underlines the "difference" between the two handsets with a bold, red pen.
Named 'Be Brilliant', the ad sends an empowering message to HTC clients: Be Different. The clip is short, bold and caters directly to consumers' desire for individuality. At the same time, it's a total rip-off from an Apple commercial from 30 years ago.
The new HTC One A9 ad shows an Orwellian society, where people feel and act in unison. In this 'Big Brother' world where everything is the same, the video urges you to be unique, loud, brilliant and free. The main protagonist, a rebel archetype, overpasses the limits of the totalitarian system and ends up freeing himself alongside some of the dronish members of society.
The commercial showcases some features of the HTC One A9, such as the full-metal design, the optical image stabilization, the RAW image capture, the 24-bit BoomSound audio experience, as well as the Android Marshmallow OS.
In a truly tongue-in-cheek manner, the rebel kicks off a pyramid of white apples from a formal dinner table. The gesture, coupled with the fact that only plastic dummies sit at the table, is a clear and not-so-subtle jab at Apple.
If three decades ago Apple blamed IBM for monopolizing and entrenching, many believe that today Apple became what it once despised. HTC, obviously, rallies to this point of view and makes it blatantly clear that having a One A9 phone will extract you from the iSheeple category.
The gods of irony are probably rolling on the floor while watching the HTC One A9 ad.
Not only does HTC wave the originality flag after it released a smartphone imitating the iPhone in every exterior detail, but the commercial that promotes the Taiwanese handset is obviously "inspired" from the "1984" ad which introduced the Apple Macintosh personal computer.
As expected, consumers didn't take long to respond. On the YouTube page of the video, slamming the HTC One A9 was quick and merciless.
"Be brilliant twice: buy an iPhone clone and watch an Apple ad clone," one YouTuber poins out.
There might be another explanation for this. HTC might have done this on purpose, knowing that bad press is better than no press. Check out both the new HTC One A9 ad and Apple's 30-year-old Mac ad below.