Please Stop, HTC. Please.

Have a new phone? Better use fashion models to show them off. Because real people wear outfits that look like monochrome jellyfish and never smile and they want… no, need… your products.

That’s just what HTC did today in an industry that is plagued with gender inequality and “booth babe” marketing. They had models of both sexes strut around with phones designed to make it easier to take pictures of models.

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The occasion for this ham-handed event was the launch of the HTC Desire Eye, a phone that features front and back 13MP cameras — you know, for the selfies. Instead of celebrating a fairly amazing achievement, they turned it into a fashion event. And when mobile companies try to put on fashion events, everyone loses.

Technology companies generally struggle to make press events like these interesting. It takes something special to get people to look up from their laptops and phones. Several years ago, Samsung put on a Broadway “show” worthy of a local community theater. But that backfired. It was hilarious rather than interesting. It was roundly derided as ridiculous.

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At CES 2013 Qualcomm rolled out the psychedelic elephants and floating deadheads for an event that was clearly designed by someone dropping acid.

And now HTC joins this crowd with a fashion show featuring future Sith Lords. Well done, HTC. At least you didn’t die quietly.

Please, mobile companies, stop. There is nothing “fashion” about your product unless you count the number of celebrities who carry your phone for a week because you gave it to them. Phones are objects of desire, to be sure, but that desire is not manufactured or forced – it’s earned, and this was just a mess.