Tesla (and Twitter) supremo Elon Musk has said that his car company will “try a little advertising” in a major climbdown for the brand which had previously eschewed advertising and instead relied on its customers’ enthusiasm and the boss’ celebrity.
Musk told the company’s shareholders at its annual shareholder meeting that his about-face was inspired by his acquisition of Twitter.
“Twitter is highly dependent on advertising, so, here I am, never used advertising really before, and now have a company that’s highly dependent on advertising. So, I guess I should say advertising is awesome, everyone should do it!” he told the shareholders.
He also added that Tesla could shed light on some features in its cars that people might not know about — “We’ll try a little advertising and see how it goes,” he said.
Musk had previously declared that he “hated advertising” but told CNBC that he was “surprised by the level of enthusiasm for advertising” among the business’ shareholders.
He also said that “if we are sending out information on the Tesla Twitter account or my Twitter account, we’re somewhat preaching to the converted.”
When asked what Tesla’s advertising might look like, Musk said that “if advertising is informative and entertaining then it can start to approach content. Sometimes advertising is not informative or in some cases is a bit misleading. In fact, we’ve lost some advertisers on Twitter because Community Notes applies to advertising too.”
He also added that “I only just agreed to it, it’s not like I have a fully formed strategy.” He said that none of the questions at the shareholder meeting were scripted and he just agreed to it.
Needless to say, if the Tesla account does go out to pitch, agencies would likely be falling over themselves to win the work. However, given Musk’s fondness for vertical integration within Tesla and his other businesses, it would stand to reason that he would look to start an in-house team.
In response to Musk’s announcement, Tesla shares climbed by around 5 per cent.