HTC to team up with Robert Downey Jr?

Taiwanese smartphone company HTC has reportedly signed a two-year global marketing contract worth US$12 million with actor Robert Downey Jr.

In the contract, Downey is said to be featured in the brand's global marketing campaign as himself and will even have a say in the brand's creative directions.

According to Mashable, Sally Julien, a spokesperson for HTC, had written in an email that the brand has "nothing to announce on a new marketing campaign".

HTC has taken a backseat in the smartphone category, overshadowed by Samsung.

If this rumour proves to be true, this could be HTC's boldest move yet in reviving the brand. In November 2012, HTC appointed Benjamin Ho as chief marketing officer, responsible for worldwide marketing branding.

Earlier this year, Ho dropped HTC's tagline "Quietly brilliant", signalling bolder marketing moves to regain market share.

Other smartphone partnerships include rapper Jay-Z with Samsung and Alicia Keys with BlackBerry.