Clean Transport

Published on August 21st, 2013 | by Guest Contributor


Tesla Model S “Recharge” Commercial — Video

August 21st, 2013 by  

This post first published on Gas2
by Christopher DeMorro

Elon Musk is writing his own playbook when it comes to Tesla Motors, foregoing things like press cars, dealership models, and traditional advertising venues. Tesla has so far relied largely on word-of-mouth to advertise the Model S, and fan-made commercials like “Recharge” have filled the void in its absence.

At just a smidge over 30-seconds long, “Recharge” doesn’t have a lot of time to tell you what the Tesla Model S is. So rather than launch into a boring triade about Superchargers and maximum range, the commercial instead talks about new ways to retreat, recharge, and reconnect with nature as it were. It’s well-shot, properly edited, and full of the feel-good-about-your-expensive-purchase pandering the green movement is known for. Nothing says “relatable” like a bunch of rich white people dancing around a fire in a desert near their $70,000+ electric car.

Perhaps that is why Tesla has stayed away from advertising? While some commercials, like “Gallons of Light”, really explore the fundamental differences between electric and conventional cars in an engaging manner, “Recharge” ends on a  more self-centered note. I’m not sure how many Tesla owners bought their Model S because they thought they were changing/saving the world, but I bet it’s greater than one.

Anyways, watch the commercial and leave us your notes in the comments below.

Tesla “Recharge” from Über Content on Vimeo.

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  • It’s clear that Tesla are taking their emotional cues from Apple in their advertising, and that’s not a bad thing. Will not resonate with everyone, but then again: that’s not the point either. Target those who are most likely to connect with the message and emotion, and go for that.

  • Ivor O’Connor

    “Nothing says “relatable” like a bunch of rich white people dancing around a fire in a desert near their $70,000+ electric car.”

    Wow. I often think I’m way off the deep end with my sarcastic nature but I admit you are better at it then me. The kids look like a bunch of healthy got it going on types living life the way it should be lived.

  • Bob_Wallace

    Beautiful car.

    Beautiful ad.

    I’d rather watch that than Madge soaking someones nails in dish soap.

  • Kyle Field

    Well thought out, well edited, solid message. I like it.

  • Marion Meads

    The car still looks ugly to me no matter the background, but the $70K+ price tag fools your brain into thinking that its a beaut. I hope Tesla makes a CUV soon.

    • Bob_Wallace

      I think I’ve figured it out. You’re actually Henrik Fisker.


  • Tom G.

    I like it – very effective.

  • robin hood

    Can’t wait to get one personally!

  • wardmundy

    Sounds as if someone is sorry that don’t own one. Get a real job and maybe you can.

  • Troy Frank

    Granted, the customer base is more diverse than this commercial (and it would be good to highlight that). And granted, I think they should’ve said “this was the car that changed the world”, not “we’re the people that….”. But I don’t get all your snarkiness about “a bunch of rich white people”. New tech always starts with the wealthy, and this is no different.
    Their slightly “self-centered” tone aside, 50 years from now people will look back and say “yeah, this was the car that changed the world”.

    • Bob_Wallace

      I agree. The S will be the electric T.

      • Jazzy

        The electric T isn’t going to be the car, it’s going to be the network of recharging stations (and advances in battery technology.) I think it will be fascinating how the large automakers (like Honda and BMW) respond being that they should be able to produce a comparable product at a price that undercuts Tesla. At around $40K, I think they can do better than a Chevy Volt. And as far as the Leaf, Prius, etc, I’ve always thought the oil companies must be paying the manufacturers off to produce butt ugly electric vehicles. But then many owners like that as it differentiates them more. At least Tesla figured out, you can differentiate with GOOD looks rather than UGLY looks. Now all they need to do is bring the price down to make the car a bit more accessible to the middle class. These cars aren’t that environmental as people think though when you consider in many areas how the electricity is produced (coal) and how the copper and aluminum for the batteries is obtained. Many want to ignore the trade-off that exists to achieve for less emissions but they’re not looking at the big picture. I think electric cars are net better for the environment compared to gas but not as much as people think.

        • Bob_Wallace

          If you read up on the first Model Ts you will discover that they were very limited machines. They had no headlights, no electric starter, no windshield wipers and since they had no fuel pumps they couldn’t go up steep hills driving forward. They had to back up hills to keep fuel flowing to the engine.

          But the T was the car that made people start realizing that there was an acceptable option to the horse. It was the turning point away from earlier forms of transportation. The S is playing much the same role.

          The S gives us the range, safety, looks, performance and comfort we want. It just doesn’t come at a price affordable to most. But it makes almost everyone stop and think about how they could actually drive an EV and put gas stations behind them.

          (Every bale hay or clean out a stable? How about harness a team?)

          The LEAF is under $30k. For $40k Nissan could add more batteries and sell a 200+ mile range vehicle. I just doubt there’s a market for a $40k EV. It wouldn’t be a luxury car and most people rarely need the extra range.

          There is hardly a place in the country where coal provides a large enough percentage of electricity to make EVs a poor environmental choice. And with a large number of coal plants shutting down over the next couple of years there should be none.

          “copper and aluminum for the batteries is obtained” ?

        • antrey

          Tesla is doing well, not because environmentalists are being the car, but because the car simply kicks @$$. It is amazingly functional, packaging is insanely better than that possible in a gasoline vehicle, powertrain has amazing performance, car handles incredibly well, safety is top notch…etc. When compared to a BMW 7 series or Mercedes S-class it kicks their butt in most respects. The car is selling on its own merits most of the time and not because people are necessarily making a statement.

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