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Lenovo Taps Actor Kutcher Who Played Steve Jobs Amid Brand Push

Lenovo Group Ltd. is turning to actor Ashton Kutcher, fresh off a film on Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs, amid the company’s efforts to boost its brand as it expands from computers into smartphones and tablets.

Kutcher will join Lenovo for a product announcement to be streamed live on Google Inc.’s YouTube site at 7 p.m. Pacific Time on Oct. 29, Lenovo said in an e-mailed statement today. A web page set up by the company for the event contains three videos suggesting the announcement may pertain to a new tablet computer, or a better way to grip or power such devices.

Lenovo, the world’s top PC maker, in May tapped basketball player Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers to promote its smartphones. Lenovo is the latest Asian hardware maker to look to Hollywood for a boost, after HTC Corp. in August began running ads with Robert Downey Jr., who starred as Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes in hit movies. Downey’s two-year global marketing deal was worth about $12 million, two people with knowledge of the plans said in June.

Kutcher, who stars on the television show “Two and a Half Men,” has more than 15 million followers of his microblog on Twitter Inc., and had the title role in “Jobs,” a biopic on Apple’s co-founder released in August.

Brion Tingler, a spokesman for Lenovo, declined to comment beyond the text of the invitation that describes the event as Lenovo’s “most exciting product announcement to date.”

Lenovo plans to boost its global tablet shipments to 10 million units this year, from 2.2 million last year, Chief Executive Officer Yang Yuanqing said in May.

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