Elon Musk Opens Up Dialogue About Tesla Advertising

By Johnna Crider, in collaboration with Zach Shahan

Elon Musk recently opened up a dialogue about Tesla advertising and marketing when he responded to CleanTechnica on Twitter saying, “At some point, we should probably do advertising as art/communication/entertainment & to support high-quality media.” This dialogue included many of the community’s talented photographers and videographers sharing some of their media. It also created conversations regarding broader education for EVs and busting Tesla myths.


This got me to thinking. As an artist, I love making and creating things and usually let my own art speak for itself. Sharing on Twitter and writing blogs about related topics can lead someone into buying something — but that’s about it. Tesla is already engaged in this type of marketing. This discussion is about graphic or video ads — like you see on TV, in magazines, or on websites like this one. What does Tesla need in this regard, and how can it contribute creatively with art?

Sure, Tesla’s products speak for themselves, but unlike my art, Tesla has an entire movement fueled by critics and FUD that actually gets into the mainstream news and gets many people poised against the company and rooting for its failure — and sometimes even rooting against electric vehicles and solar energy in general. If for no other reason, it would be beneficial to the world to have a more accurate portrayal of the company and reality. Having so many people believe a warped narrative leads to issues.

Also, Tesla’s mission is the world’s mission. It needs to succeed. Its goal is vital to the survival of humanity, and its goal is not about itself — it was originally to push major industries to change. They needed more pushing than initially expected, which opened the door wider and wider for Tesla, to not just survive, but now thrive.

I think that the shock of the media at Tesla’s rising stock price and wild success in general is due in part to the obsessively negative reporting we saw back in 2018 and 2019 — something CleanTechnica even decided to track and document it was so absurd. Perhaps many of those engaged in the negative reporting believed in it, but that doesn’t change that it was a misguided perspective and warped their perceptions of the company as well as many others’. While critics such as the “TSLAQ” group hounded Elon’s every footstep with taunts and screams of bankruptcy and fraud, Tesla kept its eye on the prize and came through on top. This is most likely why a lot of those in the media are stunned — they have been conditioned by all the negative feedback and actually had the expectation that Tesla would fail.

I do want to address what Ráða and others with a similar perspective said in their tweets. When done right, marketing can genuinely be a good thing. Tesla doesn’t need to be associated with your average, run-of-the-mill company that utilizes marketing in every form, and frequently. By being featured in music videos, movies, TV shows, and even Burger King ads, Tesla is already being marketed in many ways. It did so by creating something that people absolutely loved. They love it so much that they took it upon themselves to feature it in their art. There is no need for more of that, but fun and creative expression in art and entertainment allows one to open up in a deeper way to the world. The key is balance and making sure it isn’t spamming, making sure it’s creating something people love.

The fact that Tesla would considering rewarding supporters who create high-quality media (art of different sorts) is a beautiful thing. It means that even though Tesla doesn’t have the need to advertise its products, Elon wants to reward those who create beautiful art as a way of supporting them for supporting Tesla. So, I decided to do a roundup of some media I thought was pretty high quality or simply inspiring.

Jessica Meckmann, who gave us permission to use one of her photos she shared on Twitter for the cover photo of this article, also shared her thoughts on Tesla and marketing. “My view on Tesla’s marketing strategy is that if they indeed decide to start running ads, they should separate themselves as far away as possible from mainstream advertising. One way would be to use customer produced/submitted videos/photos of how their daily life has been influenced and altered by using a Tesla product, be it cars, power-walls, and/or solar. These videos or photos must be real and not like those ‘these are real people, not actors’ kind of ads.”

Perhaps, along with the automotive, energy, battery, and tech industries, if Tesla was to start advertising, it would find better ways to advertise and revolutionize that industry as well. If Tesla was to do this, it would probably give real people — customers and fans alike — a voice in an industry that is dominated by corporate industries and paid social media influencers. Tesla, for example, could reward a random owner as a thank you for taking a picture of their Tesla at sunset — that’s my own take, at least. Speaking of photos of Teslas, here are a few more tweets that I found that I think show the love the people of Tesla have for Tesla:

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Johnna Crider

Johnna owns less than one share of $TSLA currently and supports Tesla's mission. She also gardens, collects interesting minerals and can be found on TikTok

Johnna Crider has 1996 posts and counting. See all posts by Johnna Crider