On Super Bowl Sunday this past February, Tesla did not run television advertisements. The $6.5 million price tag for a 30-second slot during the Bengals-Rams thriller had other takers, though. Polestar was one of them.
Polestar took shots at Tesla and others with a spicy ad during the big game that indirectly called out Elon Musk’s other ventures, including SpaceX. The ad did rank as the most-engaging commercial of the Super Bowl commercials that did run, performing twenty-three times better than the median Super Bowl LVI spot.
While Polestar did see some benefit with engagement, Tesla saw the real benefits from the commercial, as detailed in its Q1 2022 Shareholder Deck released last Wednesday just before the company’s Earnings Call. Tesla saw an increase in order volume the day after Super Bowl Sunday — its highest order concentration since the beginning of 2022, according to the graph released.
Tesla has never run a commercial or advertisement, seeking to funnel funds elsewhere, mostly toward Research and Development purposes. CEO Elon Musk has said in the past that he “hates advertising,” and on other occasions, has said money spent to run commercial ads should be put into product development instead.
Strange how these things are bucketed. I think of the whole company as being R&D.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 24, 2022
Other automakers have known for quite some time that Tesla is very different. While everyone still focused on combustion engine projects for the past ten years, Tesla was challenging the norm and attempting to build sustainable and long-lasting electric powertrains and nearly went bankrupt doing it. However, it all worked out, and even though the company’s plans and timelines are not necessarily predictable due to major supply chain issues, delays in development, or other reasons, the same basic tenet exists in Tesla’s fundamentals: accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
Tesla has been able to do this without running expensive advertisements due to several things. First, the company’s band of loyal owners are perhaps the best PR firm money can’t buy. With perhaps millions of owners globally, people are becoming more knowledgeable and informed when it comes to EVs, and Tesla enthusiasts, regardless of your opinion of them, are perhaps the most passionate automobile owners in the world. They are incredibly knowledgeable and spread their love for the company far and wide, which is better than any commercial. Personal experiences with a product of any kind are more likely to give potential buyers of that product a better idea of what the ownership experience will be like. It helps the company increase sales, and it helps consumers become more comfortable with ditching gas, in an EV’s case, even if it is only temporarily.
Despite companies taking shots at the undisputed leader in electric vehicles, Tesla still remains ahead of its rivals. With commercials obviously not doing the trick, perhaps the companies gunning for Tesla’s spot as number 1 will adopt the same strategy: put all of the money into making the product better.
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