Musk caves to demand for Tesla to begin advertising

Brand new Tesla cars are displayed on the sales lot at a Tesla dealership on May 16, 2023 in Colma, California.
Brand new Tesla cars are displayed on the sales lot at a Tesla dealership on May 16, 2023 in Colma, California. Photo credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Elon Musk has finally cracked, as the billionaire said he would dip his toes into advertising for his electric car company after a shareholder questioned his decision not to advertise at a meeting on Tuesday.

“I believe in taking suggestions. So, we’ll try a little advertising and see how it goes,” Musk said earlier this week.

The suggestion came from one of the company’s shareholders at the company’s annual meeting in Austin, Texas. The shareholder remarked on the fact that companies like Netflix pay very little for their advertising, yet he sees them everywhere.

The shareholder also said that he feels many people don’t know simple things about Tesla, like the features vehicles offer and even their affordability, which Musk acknowledged.

After Musk caved and said they would see how it goes, the crowd of shareholders erupted in applause and cheering, leaving him chuckling on stage.

“I wasn’t expecting that level of enthusiasm. It sounds like our shareholders, if I read between the lines, subtle as it is, are saying we should probably do some advertising,” Musk said, laughing. “Okay, very well.”

The pledge to provide paid advertising for the company comes after years of refusing to advertise his electric cars and four years after Musk vowed not to use company funds for ads.

In a 2019 tweet, Musk said his company “does not advertise or pay for endorsements. Instead, we use that money to make the product great.”

But now that sentiment appears to have changed.

While speaking with CNBC after Tuesday’s meeting, Musk said that the decision was made at the moment, noting that until he was asked, he had not decided to begin advertising his company.

Musk has remained in headlines throughout the last year, especially after he completed his acquisition of Twitter last fall. Since taking over the social media company, the platform has seen advertisers flee, and during his Tuesday meeting, he joked about how his thoughts on advertising have changed.

“It’s indeed ironic that Twitter is highly dependent on advertising,” he said later on in the meeting. “I guess I should say, ‘Advertising is awesome, and everyone should do it.’”

Featured Image Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images