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Tesla might have just released its first-ever ad


By Jordan Valinsky, CNN

New York (CNN) — Tesla has released what is possibly its first-ever commercial, a week after Elon Musk announced the company was going to “try a little advertising and see how it goes.”

The 2-minute video, posted on the Twitter account for Tesla Asia, is a driver testimonial from a mother of two young children in Singapore. She explains, in English, why she loves her Tesla Model 3, gushing over the design and environmentally friendly features of the roughly $47,000 car.

“The day-to-day drive is one of the smoothest and safest,” she says and compliments the car’s “autosteer” feature, which helps keep her from swerving into other lanes when she’s tired from a long day of work and driving.

It’s unclear if this is the launch of a broader advertising campaign or a one-off video. Regardless, Tesla is starting small, since the Tesla Asia account only has 170,000 followers compared to Tesla’s main Twitter account, which has 20 million followers. Tesla commonly posts promotional videos of its employees on Twitter, but not of owners.

Musk has been resistant to using advertising for Tesla, choosing instead to focus on word of mouth. He changed his mind last week, telling shareholders at the company’s annual meeting in Austin, Texas, that the company will “try a little advertising.” The audience had a positive reaction to that comment, prompting him to admit that he “didn’t realize people wanted it that much.”

The decision is a complete turnaround for Tesla and Musk. The billionaire CEO has for years suggested there is no need for the company to advertise because he says demand for the vehicles outstrips supply.

“Tesla does not advertise or pay for endorsements. Instead, we use that money to make the product great,” he said in a 2019 tweet.

In an interview on CNBC following the meeting, Musk said advertising was not something he had decided to do until he was asked about it at the meeting.

One thing that has changed for Tesla is greater competition from existing automakers, all of which have devoted much of their advertising budget to electric vehicles, including even vehicles that are not yet available for sale.

His Twitter purchase also may have changed his mind about the value of advertising. That platform previously earned more than 90% of its revenue from advertising before Musk purchased it. Twitter has since seen advertisers flee the platform.

“It’s indeed ironic that Twitter is highly dependent on advertising,” he said about his past views on advertising, and what he now faces in trying to bring advertisers back to Twitter.

“I guess I should say, ‘Advertising is awesome and everyone should do it.’”

™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Chris Isidore contributed to this report.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Business/Consumer

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