Tesla has expanded its advertising effort and it is even now controversially starting to advertise on Elon Musk’s X.
For years, Musk has famously said that he despises advertising. He said that Tesla doesn’t pay or provide discounts for celebrities to drive its cars and that the automaker doesn’t pay to advertise – though we have seen exceptions before.
Tesla fans and investors have often suggested that the company at least try it, but the CEO consistently pushed back against the idea – going as far as saying that he “hates” advertising.
But interestingly, things started to change after Musk bought Twitter, which is reliant on advertising.
A few months after Musk acquired Twitter, Tesla held its annual shareholders meeting and the CEO was asked about Tesla starting to advertise.
Musk even pointed out the irony of the situation:
“It’s indeed ironic. Twitter is highly dependent on advertising. Hear I am, never really used advertising before and now I have a company that is highly dependent on advertising. I guess I should say that advertising is awesome and everyone should do it.”
The CEO then announced that Tesla would indeed start to advertise.
Many suspected that this would be a way for Musk to transfer more money from Tesla to Twitter. As we previously reported, Tesla has already started to pay for over a dozen premium accounts on Twitter.
Last year, Tesla did start advertising with some targeted ads on Google, but it stayed away from Twitter, now X.
Today, it looks like Tesla is greatly expanding its advertising effort as we are getting many reports of people seeing Tesla ads on Youtube, Tik Tok, and even on X.
Tesla has slowly started to push video ads to Youtube late last year, but it is now expanding to all other social media platform, except for those owned by Musk’s rival Mark Zuckerberg.
The more controversial one is X since it can be seen as Musk using Tesla to finance X.
It took about 4 months for Elon to announce that Tesla would start advertising after buying Twitter and less than a year after that, Tesla is now advertising on Twitter.
He quickly went from “I hate advertising”, “Tesla doesn’t need it”, “money is better spent on the products”, to now Tesla paying X for ad space.
No matter where you stand with Elon, you have to admit that it was a quick transition.
Now, I’m not completely against Tesla advertising on X. However, the problem is that Tesla has a governance issue, which has become clear through the recent CEO compensation decision and the fact that the board didn’t do anything after Musk highlighted his conflict of interest with xAI and even threaten breach of fiduciary duty with Tesla’s AI effort.
Normally, I’d give the benefit of the doubt that Elon is not getting involved with Tesla’s advertising team when it comes to allocating budget on a specific platform like X, but with those clear governance issues at Tesla, I simply can’t give that benefit of the doubt.
It also becomes clear when Tesla happens to advertise on X and Google, but I have yet to hear a report from someone seeing a Tesla ad on Facebook and Instagram. That smells like Elon’s doing.
FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.