US: Tesla will finally try advertising - How do audiences feel about ads?
May 19th, 2023, Lesley Simeon

US: Tesla will finally try advertising - How do audiences feel about ads?

Speaking at the company’s annual shareholder meeting this week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the automotive company might advertise soon. The company has so far steered clear of traditional advertising and instead relied on emails and referral programs to engage audiences. But now, Musk feels advertising could help Tesla inform consumers about features they might not be aware of.

We explore YouGov data to see what current customers of the company or those who might consider buying from the brand (i.e., Tesla audiences) feel about advertising. We also look at advertising attitudes among respondents who expect to buy a new car in the next 12 months (i.e., potential car buyers).

According to YouGov Profiles - which covers demographic, psychographic, attitudinal and behavioral consumer metrics - 68% of Tesla audiences say they like seeing real looking people in advertisements. By comparison, 79% of potential car buyers agree with the statement.

Similarly, potential car buyers are more likely than Tesla audiences to agree with the statement that they “often notice advertisements on the internet” (75% vs. 65%).

While it is currently unknown what Tesla’s approach to advertising would be, Musk has pointed out that the ads need to be “informative” and “ideally, aesthetically pleasing.” Profiles data shows that potential car buyers are more likely than Tesla’s audience to say that they expect advertisements to entertain them (68% vs. 60%). By comparison, less than half of the general US population agrees with this view (49%).

We’ve also looked at the factors consumers consider when purchasing a new car.

For 29% of Tesla’s audiences, price is the most important factor, followed by performance (26%) and mileage (24%). Among respondents who expect to buy a new car in the next 12 months, 61% factor in price and 52% consider performance. Half of this group considers safety when buying a new car.

As for the general US population, overall price (39%) is a top factor when purchasing a new car, followed by mileage (31%) and safety and performance (26% each).

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Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for the US is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.

Photo by Tesla Fans Schweiz on Unsplash