QOTD: Does Tesla Need to Advertise?

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

We mentioned yesterday that Tesla is going to advertise more. But does the company really need to?

Tesla is in a unique position. It's gotten a lot of press over the past 10-15 years, a lot more than most startups. Most people know that Tesla is an automaker that sells upscale EVs.

Of course, most people know that Ford and GM and most other legacy automakers exist. But legacy makes continue to advertise so that the general public knows what new models are out. They also advertise deals to try and get buyers in showrooms while also trying to undercut rivals. There's more to it, of course, and I'm simplifying things for the sake of brevity, but the point is that even well-known legacy automakers have a reason to spend massive sums on advertising.

But Tesla has had a fair amount of success with just word-of-mouth and with its customers serving, in some cases, as unpaid brand ambassadors on Twitter.

Hype around Tesla boss Elon Musk has played a part in that, of course.

On the other hand, critics might argue that Tesla needs to advertise to overcome negative criticism that has been directed at Musk and his actions -- both as boss of Tesla and of Twitter -- and to overcome concerns about the reliability of the brand's cars.

There's also the fact that Tesla plans to someday launch the Cybertruck and a new Roadster. Given how delayed the Cybertruck's launch has been, perhaps some advertising will be necessary to overcome consumer skepticism.

So, what do you think? Does Tesla have enough positive buzz that it doesn't need to advertise? Is even the negative publicity good for the brand, in a way (all publicity is good publicity, et cetera)? Or does the brand need to advertise, if not for brand awareness, then to rebuild any goodwill that has been lost over the years?

Sound off below.

[Image: Tesla]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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4 of 29 comments
  • MeJ MeJ on May 19, 2023

    I'm not a Tesla fan but if anything they should spend some money and update their current cars. I can't believe the length of time these have remained unchanged, or even refreshed...

  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on May 19, 2023

    If I had an extra billion dollars lying around, I would start a car company and run it based on advice from the TTAC comments section and see how quickly I could lose it all. 😉

    And by billion I mean more like 10 billion.

    • See 1 previous
    • EBFlex EBFlex on May 20, 2023

      "If I had an extra billion dollars lying around, I would start a car company and run it based on advice from the TTAC comments section and see how quickly I could lose it all."

      Ah yes because building what people want and building quality is so outrageous.

  • MaintenanceCosts Why do you have to accept two fewer cylinders in your gas engine to get an electric motor? (This question also applies to the CX-90.)
  • Zipper69 Do they have unique technology that might interest another manufacturer?
  • Ger65690267 The reason for not keeping the Hemi is two fold, one is the emissions is too high, it would need a complete redesign to make it comply. The other is a need for a strong modern 6 cylinder within Stellantis portfolio of vehicles moving forward.They decided they rather invest in a I6 turbo which is designed to incorporate future electrification systems and not also updating their V8 engine. Unlike both GM & Ford, a brand constantly pushing smaller displacement turbo engines has decided to still keep V8s in their truck line up, because they know it's important to their core customers.GM has invested billions for their next gen small block V8s and Ford has already updated their 5.0L V8. However, Dodge and RAM which is a brand built on the Hemi name and having a V8 has decided to drop it. I think it's clearly a strategic misstep for RAM not to do the same for their trucks, Chargers/Challengers going forward.Stellantis relies heavily on the profits from their NA operations, I think they may not fully understood how important the Hemi was in their 1500 class trucks. On a side note, no one in the media seems to be noting that while the Hurricane S.O. puts out more hp/torque to the outgoing Hemi, that for some reason has lost both towing and payload capability.  
  • Ajla I'm going to whine about it. It should have a V8 available. Preferably a new one but at least offering the old one as a mid-level option. That this brand new engine outperforms something introduced 2003 and last updated in 2009 doesn't impress me. Also, journalists seem to be unaware that it is possible to add forced induction to a V8.
  • Calrson Fan I'll say it again, terrible business model doomed to fail. If your gonna build an EV PU the only market that makes sense to go after is fleets. How many other BEV companies are making money pushing only truck type vehicles?