The New Auto PR Technique: Attack Elon Musk on Twitter

Prior to now, when the automotive business wished to drum up some hype, the playbook was to go huge, each financially and logistically. Perhaps they’d pay to put James Bond of their newest and best, perhaps they’d purchase a Tremendous Bowl advert and get Bill Murray to star, or perhaps they’d simply grease a couple of palms within the press corps within the type of an extravagant test-drive journey.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has by no means been one to observe the usual playbook. In actual fact, earlier this yr the electrical automobile firm dissolved its PR department, making Musk the one-man consultant through his Twitter account (although it might be building back a few of that workforce); and it actually hasn’t harm the automaker, because it’s at present essentially the most useful automobile firm on the planet when it comes to market worth. Regardless of Musk’s unequivocally vile tweets, he’s a star, and his firm’s backside line is best off for it.

So what’s a multinational automotive titan to do? Some have tried to forge their very own irreverent web personalities, with principally poor results, usually tied to the truth that they’re talking via the model, not an precise human being. Now, they’re making an attempt it Elon Musk’s means.

Herbert Diess, the CEO of Volkswagen Group, joined Twitter on Wednesday. In his first tweet, he didn’t publish a selfie in an ID.three or Porsche Taycan or another model cliche. As an alternative, he took the 280 characters to get in a jab at Musk: “Hi there @Twitter! I’m right here to make an impression with @VWGroup, particularly on political points. And, in fact, to get a few of your market shares, @elonmusk – in spite of everything, our ID.three and e-tron have received the primary markets in Europe. Wanting ahead to productive discussions!”

It must be famous that Diess and Musk have a pleasant historical past, and it is a comparatively mild prod, however after sending that tweet, Diess obtained writeups at Bloomberg, CNN and various different retailers. In brief, their plan labored. Nevertheless it’s not simply Diess and Volkswagen — calling out Musk on Twitter has turn into a brand new PR technique for various different automotive corporations, and one which has thus far been surprisingly efficient.

In December, Jim Glickenhaus of racing powerhouse Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus challenged Musk and his Cybertruck to a race in opposition to his personal hydrogen-powered automobile via tweet, and now persons are calling for the Baja 1000 showdown. Someday later, startup Comma AI, which works within the self-driving automobile house, dangled a bet of $10K on Twitter that Musk wouldn’t obtain stage 5 autonomous driving know-how in 2021, and he actually responded

Much less direct jabs on the Tesla boss have been going on for fairly a while (keep in mind when everybody laughed in the face of the Cybertruck?), however now it appears the automobile world is realizing that in terms of success on Twitter, in the event you can’t beat Elon Musk, simply @ him. 

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