Ever wondered why Tesla does not advertise? There is a change coming
Millions drive Tesla electric vehicles (EVs) across the world but not one of them bought the EV after being swayed by a captivating advertisement. This is because Tesla as a clearly stated policy has never advertised its EVs or supporting technologies. Ever. Never. But while Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been proud of having taken a no-advertisement route and still built the most formidable EV company in the world, there is a wind of change that's blowing to push Tesla towards commercial advertisement route.
Musk has previously highlighted that Tesla has never sought to advertise its EVs because demand has mostly always been higher than supply. In such cases, the need to have advertisements have been negated entirely. Musk, one of world's wealthiest persons, had claimed in 2019 that the money saved from not advertising is instead used to better the technology used and increase production. “Tesla does not advertise or pay for endorsements. Instead, we use that money to make the product great," he had tweeted.
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But Musk may have since had a change in thought process and recently indicated that Tesla may go down the path not taken thus far. “So I guess I should say advertising is awesome, and everyone should do it. We will try out a little advertising and see how it goes," he reportedly said during Tesla's annual shareholder meeting in Texas.
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Tweeting for Tesla?
Musk owns Twitter, a social-media platform that is heavily dependent on an advertising model to survive and possibly thrive. Tesla, however, thrives on the aura it has built around itself - word of mouth in some cases. But the competition has been hotting up. Not only are established car makers like Mercedes, Volkswagen, Hyundai and even Toyota now ramping up their respective all-electric offerings, local Chinese brands are moving beyond borders and onto foreign shores as well.
A pricing war was recently unleased in China - world's largest EV market - by Tesla and many rivals had to follow. The price war crossed the Pacific and entered the US as well. At a time when Musk has underlined an amazingly audacious ambitions of selling 20 million EVs each year by 2030, the once fertile playfield is being bombarded by new rivals with newer EVs at possibly lesser prices. Could advertising then work as a shot in the arm for Tesla even if it is not a survival strategy as it is for Twitter?
Paused product lineup
Tesla critics also point to a product lineup that has not seen any new model injection in recent years. The likes of Model 3 and Model Y continue to sell big but Tesla has not been able to craft much-needed excitement. Even existing models don't offer anything radically new except talks of in-car gaming, self-drive technology and the pending likes. Talks but no concrete buzz. There is a reason why Apple updates its iPhone lineup frequently - buzz.
Musk had previously highlighted how a Tesla that is more affordable than Model 3 would be in the works. There is not much that has been heard of this since either. Musk had also showcased the Cybertruck prototype in 2019 but the first customer units are still to roll out of factory lines. And Musk's efforts of entering emerging markets like India has not come to much as yet.
As such, playing in existing markets may mean plateauing sales at some point in the near future, say many. Little wonder then that advertising may be a booster dose that could add some propulsion to prospects for the American company.