A Tesla Model 3 is featured in a new Burger King ad. (Though, the steering wheel tricked a few into thinking the next-gen Roadster was used.) Burger King tweeted, “Looks like AI even knows what you’re in the mood for,” along with a video of a Tesla on Autopilot. “Smart cars are smart enough to brake for a Whopper.”
Check the steering wheel in the beginning and at 24 seconds.
Roadster or Cybertruck https://t.co/NdCuyFlsEl
— TeslaChillMode #TeslaIndia🇮🇳 (@TeslaChillMode) June 25, 2020
The promotion that Burger King ran was a day-long “Autopilot Whopper” that was only valid in the continental United States. In order to get that free Whooper, customers had to share a picture or video on social media with their smart car outside of a Burger King restaurant using the hashtags #AutopilotWhopper and #FreeWhopper.
— Greg McNish (@Greg_McNish) June 23, 2020
— Roadshow (@roadshow) June 24, 2020
Once you used those tags and uploaded your media, Burger King said it would send you a direct message within 24 hours of posting and a unique code for your free Whopper.
— Mojo Susan (@mojosusan) June 24, 2020
To Advertise or Not To Advertise?
The debate about whether or not Tesla should buy advertising has been a hot one for some time. I am of the mindset that Tesla shouldn’t pay for its own advertising simply because it doesn’t need to. Burger King’s promotion is just another piece of evidence in that case.
This is how fast 1.1 seconds 0 – 60mph take off should look like with Space X package thrusters on the Tesla Roadster. Computer worked out physics and then visualised in a render animation. Not sure how much gas but threw the effect in anyway. Enjoy @elonmusk #tesla #spacex pic.twitter.com/VzMukQPT2E
— Slave' Popovski ® (@Pslavi) June 23, 2020
Sure, advertising could increase a brand’s value, help with product awareness, and even take on the FUD directly, but this is most useful to companies that are not well known. Tesla is a household name, and when its CEO, Elon Musk, has corrected FUD on Twitter, it hasn’t really stopped the FUD. Sometimes it amplifies it. As for the brand value, that is linked with product quality and product awareness, and Tesla is very hot right now.
Traditional advertising has evolved and now includes platforms such as promoted posts on Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram, as well as Google and YouTube. Yes, national TV, radio, and print advertising still exist, but Tesla’s best form of advertising comes from its customers and fans.
Fans such as Billy Crammer often create Tesla spec ads and promote them on Twitter. These ads showcase their artistry as video editors as well as their love for their favorite brands, such as Tesla. In the spec ad above, Billy spoke to me about the creation process. He wanted to create something that would match Tesla on the level it is at today, “big and majestic.”
Billy isn’t the only one. In 2019, Travis Scott released a music video for his song “Gang Gang” with Tesla’s Cybertruck heavily featured in it. Just last weekend, the same truck went on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum and it brought out crowds of excited attendees who were able to see the Cybertruck in person. We were lucky to nab some exclusive pro photos from David Rand (a few of which are below).
Another well-known brand recently used two Tesla Model X vehicles, and these vehicles were all over the news. In May, SpaceX and NASA sent two American astronauts into space for the first time since NASA ended the Space Shuttle program. The astronauts rode in Tesla Model X SUVs with NASA branding and were all suited up for their trip to the ISS. Not only were these photos and live-streamed videos all over Twitter, but these moments were captured by news agencies all around the world.
Another segment of brand advocates for Tesla includes the younger generations who know that the older generations have left them a planet that is burning from excessive use of fossil fuels. Elon Musk has stated many times that Tesla’s reason for existence is to reduce the risk of catastrophic climate change. “Even if your faith in humanity is faltering, this is worth caring about,” Elon Musk said on Twitter back in 2018.
Tesla exists to help reduce risk of catastrophic climate change, which affects all species on Earth. Even if your faith in humanity is faltering, this is worth caring about. Support makes a difference. Thank you.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 12, 2018
When you take a product that is creating a problem as a side effect and rebuild it to where it solves that problem, you have something that is new, improved, and attractive to those who want to solve the problem. When the problem is huge, the demand is huge.
In the case of Tesla, the problem was and still is greenhouse gas emissions. The product that created those were traditional vehicles. Tesla remade the vehicle and used it to solve that problem. This type of thinking is why Tesla doesn’t need to pay for advertising.
Tesla is now the most valuable car company *in the world*.
However … they’re much more than a car company.
Tesla is a tech company that’s going to fundamentally change the way we think about transportation & energy. They’re not peaking — they’re just getting started. $TSLA
— Viv 🐉 (@flcnhvy) June 10, 2020
When you are seen as a leader in your industry, other leaders in different industries notice you. This is why, in my opinion, Burger King chose Autopilot as a theme for one of its promotions. The real reason that Tesla doesn’t need to buy advertising is that it is making an impact and the world is already aware.