It is well known in the electric car community that Elon Musk detests traditional advertisements. The Tesla CEO has emphasized for years that Tesla does not advertise or pay for endorsements. Instead, the company simply utilizes its resources to ensure that its products are great. If a recent comment is any indication, however, it appears that Elon Musk may be softening up a bit when it comes to his stance on advertisements.
The CEO’s comments were recently related as a response to an article from fellow EV news outlet CleanTechnica, which covered the recent price reduction of Tesla’s solar solutions. After commenting that it’s still “better to put the money into the product than sales & marketing,” Elon Musk noted that eventually, Tesla should probably do some advertising to support “high quality media.” This is quite a statement from the CEO, who has been anti advertisement in the past.
Elon Musk’s references about supporting high quality media open a lot of opportunities for the electric car maker. The CEO, after all, is a known supporter of non traditional media sources, as evidenced by his overt support for prolific podcaster Joe Rogan, whose approach to information dissemination is quite different from mainstream media. References to art and entertainment also invoke past programs from the company, such as Project Loveday, where the Tesla community was tapped to create compelling videos featuring the company’s products.
The topic of Tesla advertisements has been expressed for some time now, at one point being discussed directly at an annual shareholders meeting. During the event, some Tesla shareholders even volunteered to utilize their own resources for the company’s advertising push. Musk, for his part, stated that he has reservations about advertising due to the level of trickery that usually goes with the practice. Nevertheless, the CEO did admit later on that Tesla could have “advertising for information to refute misinformation.”
And here lies a key reason behind the push for Tesla’s advertising efforts. The company is in calmer waters now compared to last year, but there is still no shortage of negativity surrounding Tesla and Elon Musk. A lot of the negativity, such as the perception that electric cars are more harmful to the environment, or that Teslas start at over $100,000, or that Elon Musk is a fraud, are surprisingly prevalent until today. The majority of these are easily debunked if Tesla has a serious anti misinformation campaign.
What is quite interesting is that Tesla does not really have to advertise itself in the traditional sense. The company could simply focus on setting the record straight with regards to the negativity that surrounds it. Examples of these could include the proper utilization of Autopilot and the Full Self Driving suite, two of the company’s products that attract a significant amount of ire from critics. These little campaigns could go a long way in ensuring that the right information is available online, and out in the open.
Tesla is now at a point where it has two mass market vehicles that could compete with other reasonably priced premium vehicles on the market. And if reports are accurate, it appears that the company is looking to release an even more affordable vehicle in the future. Tesla is now the largest automaker in the world by market cap, and its growth is unlikely to stop anytime in the near future. With this in mind, it might soon be the right time for the company to push forward even more, even if it has to advertise in the process.