AdQuick Vice President of Growth Chris Gadek shared with me why he put Elon Musk’s response to President Biden on a Times Square billboard earlier this month. Going backward to provide context, President Biden shared a video last month of himself with General Motors CEO Mary Barra. The two were talking about how GM is leading by producing EVs and investing billions into jobs. It was a great speech, but the truth is that Biden was propping up GM as the leader of the industry while GM wasn’t leading. Tesla is leading the EV industry. President Biden has continuously ignored Tesla’s contribution, and this is what fueled the motivation to run the ad in NYC.
— Chris Gadek (@dappermarketer) February 2, 2022
The person who purchased the Times Square Billboard was Chris Gadek, Vice President of Growth of AdQuick. AdQuick is focused on empowering people to share their message with the world — it’s an advertising company that was founded in Los Angeles. I asked Chris to share his inspiration for the ad, and we had a short email chat.
Chris explained that the reason why AdQuick purchased the ad was to celebrate not Elon Musk, but Tesla’s employees. He told me, “We wanted to celebrate the achievements and hard work of the Tesla employees in 2021.”
He also shared what impacts he hoped the ad would have.
“First, we hope that it makes the team proud to know that we’re all cheering them on. We also hope that it motivates others to do the same. It’s a pretty cool thing to see the impact that out-of-home advertising has when it comes to getting attention to something that matters to you. We love seeing brands take advantage of the stage it offers, so we thought it would be nice to pay it forward as well.”
For those who are not in the advertising industry, out-of-home advertising refers to outdoor advertising, outdoor media, and any type of advertising that is experienced outside of the home. Billboards, wallscapes, and posters seen on the go are included in this category.
Tesla has always been overlooked and ignored. @tesla was the one company who single-handedly accelerated the EV movement and now the old auto companies are following. Let’s be able to give credit and acknowledge @elonmusk @tesla rather than ignoring. #justsayIt
— Tesla Owners Silicon Valley (@teslaownersSV) February 5, 2022
This wasn’t the only Tesla-related ad. John with Tesla Owners of Silicon Valley also had his tweet on the same billboard, and I chatted with John about it as well. John’s goal was focused on fighting misinformation against Elon Musk and Tesla. His ad focused on the fact that an over-the-air-update isn’t exactly a recall. I’ve mentioned this before, but I think calling OTA updates “recalls” is like crying wolf. Someday, the word “recall” will be synonymous with mundane OTA updates that no one needs to think about and an actual, necessary recall won’t be taken seriously.
John told me: “The biggest thing is to fight the misinformation that continues to happen against Elon Musk and Tesla. Anything to do with Tesla recalls or fires it’s always the biggest headliner of the day and when it happens to other companies nothing happens. Tesla at least deserves to be mentioned in certain conversations rather than blatantly ignored. So I do whatever I can to help fight that misinformation whenever we can.”
I asked Chris if there were more plans to run ads or if this was the only one. He told me that for the moment there were no other plans but that AdQuick doesn’t shy away from running ads when they believe in the cause.
Thoughts on the Surprise Tesla Ads in Times Square
To see an advertising company join in and fight against spreading misinformation is a beautiful thing to behold. When Chris first shared the photo of the tweet with me, it was as a response to one of my tweets. I didn’t know who he was and thought that it was probably photoshopped. I get a lot of interesting replies (not as many as Elon does) and many artists share their photoshopped memes and creations. I thought this was one of those — not an actual ad. I’m happy to admit I was very wrong here and it’s good to see that not all advertising companies are in it primarily for the almighty dollar.
Yes, the dollar is important–you can’t run a business without it. But I think that we should remember our values and what inspires us. Let our hearts lead and try to be the positive change we wish to see in the world. AdQuick, in my opinion, did that with these ads. They made a powerful statement. The world saw it.
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