Tesla’s Real Innovation Isn’t the Electric Car – Slate Magazine

Posted: Monday, April 11, 2016

Next, take advertising. Startups often spend disproportionately on advertising to get noticed in a crowded field. But Tesla is an outlier among startups, and among the auto industry. I have yet to see a Tesla television advertisement, and it has managed to rack up significant sales without airing 30-second spots during the Super Bowl. That spells bad news for the advertising business. In 2015, three of the top 10 advertisers in the U.S. were car companies: General Motors (No. 3, $3.1 billion), Ford (No. 6, $2.5 billion), and Fiat/Chrysler (No. 8, $2.2 billion). Nor does Tesla engage in much of the expensive marketing efforts that the rest of the industry does, like sponsoring sports teams. Car companies spend tons of money to appear at auto shows, paying for spokesmodels, displays, rides, and other events. Tesla didn’t bother to show up to the New York Auto Show.

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