Pragmatic Ideas for Tesla Advertising
Proposal 1 by Patrick Fliegner, Management Consultant in Düsseldorf, Germany
In the past days and weeks, a number of people reached out with ideas for Tesla advertising and marketing, and I thought it would be worthwhile collecting these ideas here, given the reach my SubStack now has, rather than having them all over Twitter. Today we will start with Patrick, and there will be very soon other articles on the topic.
Patrick Fliegner reached out with a write-up of some bold & pragmatic advertising techniques that Tesla might want to consider and he would like to get your input and comments. He advocates for a $100m ad budget, to be divided between ATL and BTL approaches:
ATL stands for the costlier Above the line marketing, which entails mass media methods to target a wider audience, using conventional marketing such as TV, Radio, Print media, Internet, etc., mainly to create brand identity and establish brand awareness.
BTL is the budget-friendly Below the line marketing, which is used when the company wants to target a small but specific group, using offbeat marketing mediums such as exhibitions, trade-shows, telemarketing, email marketing, etc., to generate sales.
Patrick’s preliminary remarks:
Any advertising measures would currently play out extremely efficiently, since they are aimed at a "naïve" target group. Tesla has not tapped any potential in this field yet. The "message & excitement" would spread very steeply, especially at the beginning. Hardly any double contacts etc. For this reason, direct measurement of conversion rates is really not necessary to start of with. Motto: Come to bold actions now, move, don't overthink. Adjust as you go.
Use known market time-factors for implementation. ATL is (relatively) fast, works quickly, is expensive and difficult to measure. Bookings can be made almost in real time, via rate-cards & barter-deals quid pro quo, the material only needs to be shot, Tesla already excels on speed and analysis.
BTL has a spectrum when it comes to implementation times. Usually more lead time: hook mechanics have to be planned, materials have to be planned and produced, logistics, etc., promotion personnel trained, etc. Once the “machine” is running, you can let it run on evolution terms (and measure the conversion rate well).
Recommendation: Use existing solid battle proven shoes. “The wheel does not have to be reinvented”. Simply pull the best practices out of the toolbox and “fire”. “Foil and innovative ballet” can always come later, when the first waves have been hammered home. Don't blitz out your move but at the same time don't overthink.
Some of Patrick’s many ideas include
a promotion tour named “Tesla in Town”, in various cities in the US, Europe and China. Create the buzz, cater & provoke the local demand, allow potential clients to test drive, touch, discuss the car with the local sales team attending the venue. Attend major events, tailgate concerts and sports venues, be in prominent cities for Earth Day, …
Fly & Try - Providing free test drives for arriving passengers at airports who want to test drive the cars to their destination. A Tesla employee rides with the potential clients to answer questions and bring the car back to the airport. (This is just one example of a possible sales mechanic)
Tesla provides regular participation of rotating key executives for an hour per week, doing Twitter Spaces with the most influential Twitter accounts. Discussions on current events, new products + select top Youtubers who, in my opinion, do an amazing job for the brand and have built up a considerable reach. I would also "bless" the (best) ones on a rotating basis with Executive/VP power. It also helps to multiply the range again. Win win effect. Also attracts other influencers to qualify for the program evolving.
Targeted marketing on specific (non-Tesla) YouTube channels
Targeted online marketing to ICE drivers
Tesla-produced easy-to-understand videos on the benefits of Tesla cars. Safety, ease of charging, joy of driving, cost efficiency (AM: I’d like to add that few know about the already existing 116 videos in the Tesla library here.)
A possible vision for ATL: what if the target groups of Tesla were clearly prepared? (No witchcraft!) And then work with testimonials and really hit the top shelf. Easy pitch examples:
Dwayne Johnson with a Superbowl-like pep talk about the little-known advantages of a Tesla (range, technology guide, FSD, speed, sound, OTA, safety skills - „boom, boom, bang...“ (with a funny ending)).
Clint Eastwood at the traffic light in the Model 3 pulls away from an ICE driver. "Make my Day" Tonality: If he can do it, then you can also become electric.
Secret agent Melissa McCarthy battles an oil truck and her Model X saves the day. In between, features are explained and the car is the unsung hero.
In other words: Just lock 10 creative people with a few colorful pills in a meeting room: Much more ingenious things will definitely come out of it! I'd rather let it go viral, the media will already be spreading it...
Suggestion for the execution:
Announce pitch BTL for 3 agencies asap – a) USA b) Europe c) China
Give a deadline of 1 week! (Agencies can pitch very quickly if Tesla asks for that, they will work on it day and night relentlessly, just put pressure on them, they are used to that)
Selection of the 3 lead agencies within one further week: go & execute!
Time frame for the creation of materials, logistics, personnel, training etc.: 4-6 weeks
Go-Live from July 1st, 2023 (zero tolerance)
The ball park Cost per Order (CPO) for ATL will be under $750 with a moderate cancellation rate of <25%, thus CPA ("Activations") remains below $1000.
In this case, Tesla has avoided a price cut of around USD 1000 in total and for at least a year. This would be the „bridge“ until the Model 2 comes to substitute TAM <30k USD. At that time, the measures can most likely be omitted.
I see the ball park CPO via BTL at under $600, the cancellation rate <10%, i.e. CPA at around $660.
Due to the currently ignorant population, all activations are initially understood to be incremental, i.e. no significant cannibalization for the first flight. (Move quick now. Access data later. Don't overthink it!)
Final note: This is just a small list of common "weapons" that come to mind. It's not finished and it's not perfect. Please feel free to fill in, grow this list and improve.
The time aspect is important to me: Tesla has to start acting n o w. Otherwise there is the risk that something will slip. The marketing gap is blatant and can be fixed. Thousands of professionals in every field would "kill" for the opportunity to make it happen.
So much uptake potential untapped: Gaping shortage in the system. - Quick wins without end. We want Tesla to get the best of both worlds together: margin AND volume. Because our Planet Earth needs a successful Tesla as an innovative pacesetter and engine for a successful future,