For years, car companies have been using celebrity endorsements to sell their products, but Tesla’s marketing tactic to get the word out about their electric cars was ingenious.
They invited members of the press, who were eager, for a test drive and wrote an article with input from Tesla employees after experiencing what they claimed in-depth knowledge on how this innovative vehicle operates. Test-driving an electric car from your sale center is expensive at $5k, but this tactic sure worked well in attracting attention with all those media outlets who came by just because Tesla had given them something nice.
Using this same tactic with its Model 3 launch was a genius marketing move that came at very low cost - all they had to do was provide vehicles or even allow owners who were happy enough in theirs to lend out their own vehicle without any strings attached (as happened with Fox News). Customers are always glad when someone else takes care of promoting what you're selling because there's nothing worse than being asked "So how does ___ work?" on both sides where nobody wants us talking about ourselves nonstop 24/7 long after purchase.
Some of these reviews were positive, such as one from The Oatmeal, which has a unique audience because it's not a traditional press junket but rather an online comic strip with an engaged young following that likes electric cars like those manufactured by Tesla Motors (TM). On the other hand there’s this review in the New York Times, where they showcase some drawbacks to marketing strategy negative news can spread just as much or even more than good ones do! For example right at the top of the webpage you will find a photo showing a stalled vehicle on a flatbed truck having problems loading onto a cargo trailer; this happens because the owner forgot a charger plug inside the car while driving.
Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, stepped right in to challenge the New York Times review of his Model S. He cited data obtained from test drive the vehicle as evidence against its reported shortcomings while also claiming that this particular reviewer was an anti-electric vehicle zealot at heart who wanted nothing more than bad press for Elon's company (and we all know how much those kids love their electric cars). The result? A flurry media attention on both sides!
You know what they say, "all press is good press." The Tesla Model S cars continue to sell at a high price point and no matter how much controversy arises from time-to-time with their electric vehicles. In fact the company can boast about its performance because of this in light that when criticized or attacked by others who don't believe or understand why someone would buy such an expensive car for themselves - it just goes on proving them wrong!
If you want to test it by yourself, here you can find how to implement this tactic step by step. 👇
Tesla tactic - testing with the media
- Set up how people can test your product.
- Invite members of the press, who are eager for testing your product.
- Ask them to write an article after experiencing (emphasize which points are most desirable, e.g. speed, comfort, safety, usefulness, appearance etc.).
- Ask them to public a photo / video after testing in their private social media channels.
- Set a main hashtag which they can use when they want to public photo / video in social media after testing.
- Share the articles and other posts published in social media in your own channels.
- Use the mentions as testimonials on your page and digital channels.