A correction has been made in this story. See below for details.
Did HTC just land power-pitchman Danny McBride to flog its HTC One? Someone claiming to be his alter ego, Kenny Powers, the character from HBO's hit comedy series "Eastbound & Down," has been tweeting endorsements for AT&T and HTC's latest smartphone, as well as tweaking Apple.
And while it turns out that the entity called @KFUCKINGP, despite having a massive Twitter following, is not officially associated with the show or HBO, HTC did get a phone in the hands of the Twitter user.
The first tweet began on Monday with Mr. Powers' Twitter handle, @KFUCKINGP, demanding HTC or AT&T help him obtain an HTC One, "por favor."
HTC told Ad Age it's not a paid relationship. "We noticed the Kenny Powers Twitter account was actively talking [about] the HTC One and helped them get their hands on a device. We don't have an endorsement or paid relationship. We merely helped get the device into the hands of a fan," HTC said in a statement. AT&T and HTC's creative shop Ogilvy & Mather did not immediately return requests for comment.
America - Check out one of the baddest bros around: @jrpelkola— KFUCKINGP (@KFUCKINGP) April 25, 2013
Mr. Pelkola did not immediately return a request for comment.
HTC previously said it was going to use irreverent comedy to market the HTC One, and Kenny Powers certainly falls into that realm. Played by Danny McBride, Mr. Powers is an arrogant, profane, racially insensitive, drug-addicted professional baseball washout struggling to get back to "the show." The character incessantly swears in the show and frequently does drugs. At other times, the character plays with guns while intoxicated. In one episode, a character dies of a cocaine overdose.
Mr. Powers's Twitter profile is similarly sportive. His profile background art features a one dollar bill rolled into a cylinder, a razor, a line of white powder (presumably cocaine), a syringe (presumably for steroids) and what appears to be a men's interest magazine.
This is not the first time a brand has turned to Kenny Powers to endorse its products. Mr. McBride's loud-mouthed character has previously endorsed K-Swiss. The videos introducing Mr. Powers as K-Swiss's MFCEO were some of the most viral ads of 2011.
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CORRECTION: The @KFUCKINGP handle is run by a fan of the show who has assembled nearly half a million followers writing in Kenny Powers' voice. @KFUCKINGP's Twitter bio now states the account is not associated with HBO or the "Eastbound & Down." HTC did not immediately reply to a message asking if it was aware the Twitter handle was not officially associated with the show. A request for comment sent to Mr. McBride's representation has not been returned.