Tesla Will Do a "Little Advertising" After All

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

Tesla has long avoided advertising, opting instead to use the money to improve its products, or at least that’s what CEO Elon Musk initially said. That said, he’s changed his tune, and purchasing an ad-funded social media likely played a role. Musk recently told shareholders that Tesla would “try out a little advertising and see how it goes.”

The statement came at Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting in Austin, where Musk admitted that advertising would play an essential role in the automaker’s continued growth. After saying for years that he hated advertising and that the funds should be used to “make the product great,” Musk needs to inspire confidence that Tesla is on the right path. He said that too many people don’t know about Tesla’s products and features, which is one of the primary functions of a normally functioning marketing team.

Advertising could also help separate Tesla from Musk’s persona, which has become increasingly divisive over the last few years. Many people sidestep Tesla vehicles because of Musk, so any ability the automaker has to craft and disseminate its own messaging will be helpful. 

Musk’s purchase of Twitter and the subsequent loss of most of its staff drove advertisers away from the platform like the plague. Though the press surrounding Twitter has died down somewhat in recent months, Musk seems to have realized that it’s time to hand the reins over to a dedicated CEO. His pick is Linda Yaccarino, who previously led NBCUniversal’s global advertising and partnerships shop. 

[Image: Rokas Tenys via Shutterstock]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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2 of 16 comments
  • Cprescott Cprescott on May 18, 2023

    "We build the products as cheaply as possible so that you get stuck with huge repair bills later".

  • Daniel J Daniel J on May 19, 2023

    I know this is off topic, but I though the most controversial thing he said in regards to Tesla which everyone seems to be ignoring is that he said in the near future when we have full autonomous cars, Tesla would make money off of YOUR car by using it as Uber when you aren't using it.

    Basically Tesla owns the software, not the purchaser of the car.

  • Dartdude Having the queen of nothing as the head of Dodge is a recipe for disaster. She hasn't done anything with Chrysler for 4 years, May as well fold up Chrysler and Dodge.
  • Pau65792686 I think there is a need for more sedans. Some people would rather drive a car over SUV’s or CUV’s. If Honda and Toyota can do it why not American brands. We need more affordable sedans.
  • Tassos Obsolete relic is NOT a used car.It might have attracted some buyers in ITS DAY, 1985, 40 years ago, but NOT today, unless you are a damned fool.
  • Stan Reither Jr. Part throttle efficiency was mentioned earlier in a postThis type of reciprocating engine opens the door to achieve(slightly) variable stroke which would provide variable mechanical compression ratio adjustments for high vacuum (light load) or boost(power) conditions IMO
  • Joe65688619 Keep in mind some of these suppliers are not just supplying parts, but assembled components (easy example is transmissions). But there are far more, and the more they are electronically connected and integrated with rest of the platform the more complex to design, engineer, and manufacture. Most contract manufacturers don't make a lot of money in the design and engineering space because their customers to that. Commodity components can be sourced anywhere, but there are only a handful of contract manufacturers (usually diversified companies that build all kinds of stuff for other brands) can engineer and build the more complex components, especially with electronics. Every single new car I've purchased in the last few years has had some sort of electronic component issue: Infinti (battery drain caused by software bug and poorly grounded wires), Acura (radio hiss, pops, burps, dash and infotainment screens occasionally throw errors and the ignition must be killed to reboot them, voice nav, whether using the car's system or CarPlay can't seem to make up its mind as to which speakers to use and how loud, even using the same app on the same trip - I almost jumped in my seat once), GMC drivetrain EMF causing a whine in the speakers that even when "off" that phased with engine RPM), Nissan (didn't have issues until 120K miles, but occassionally blew fuses for interior components - likely not a manufacturing defect other than a short developed somewhere, but on a high-mileage car that was mechanically sound was too expensive to fix (a lot of trial and error and tracing connections = labor costs). What I suspect will happen is that only the largest commodity suppliers that can really leverage their supply chain will remain, and for the more complex components (think bumper assemblies or the electronics for them supporting all kinds of sensors) will likley consolidate to a handful of manufacturers who may eventually specialize in what they produce. This is part of the reason why seemingly minor crashes cost so much - an auto brand does nst have the parts on hand to replace an integrated sensor , nor the expertice as they never built them, but bought them). And their suppliers, in attempt to cut costs, build them in way that is cheap to manufacture (not necessarily poorly bulit) but difficult to replace without swapping entire assemblies or units).I've love to see an article on repair costs and how those are impacting insurance rates. You almost need gap insurance now because of how quickly cars depreciate yet remain expensive to fix (orders more to originally build, in some cases). No way I would buy a CyberTruck - don't want one, but if I did, this would stop me. And it's not just EVs.