Tesla’s genius ways of advertising — Supercharger and Ludicrous mode

Tommy Kan
3 min readNov 8, 2020

It’s well known that Tesla does NOT spend a single dime on advertisement/commercial, while it does NOT mean Tesla did nothing to promote its great products — its cars starting from roadster, Model S, Model X, Model 3 and now Model Y etc.

You might wonder whether I am in heavy hangover or not, I am not:)

There are at least two genius ways Tesla has been *secretly* advertising its product without paying any media(TV, magazine, Online ads) — Supercharger and Ludicrous(insane) mode.

First, Supercharger — a big successful bet as a key part of Tesla’s success, also a perfect MBA case study for how to take a bold risk. As the trailblazer of EV, there is no existing charging infrastructure esp. fast charging that Tesla could rely on even today, although I love to use ChargePoint network for daily overnight or at-work charging, while you do NOT want to wait 5+ hours for a full charge while on the way of family vacation to Tahoe. So it was a clear gap that Elon has to fill, and he did boldly by deciding to build and roll out nationwide(now world-wide) supercharger network. With the supercharging, mostly you only need to wait for about ~20 mins for 80% charge.

Source: https://www.tesla.com/supercharger

While what does Supercharger has to do with advertising, it’s quite self-explained actually. Since many of the supercharger stations are installed by design in high traffic areas like shopping malls, which gives Telsa the best advertisement return as so-call product-display — people drive by the sleekly designed chargers as well see different models of Tesla cars there charging every time they go to that mall for grocery shopping — every time their brain will record that strong image of Tesla logo and products, that plants the growing seed of becoming a Tesla customer someday!

SuperCharger Map — US Source: https://www.tesla.com/supercharger

Second — Ludicrous mode(LM), this idea is very different from supercharger since whatever, supercharger was really NECESSARY from needs perspective, while ludicrous mode is TOTALLY NOT needed as part of the functionality, it’s purely to create buzz and iron the image that “Tesla is really FAST!” Look at those constantly posted videos in YouTube that people bragging to *shock* their families, friends, loved ones with LM, all those experienced, watched people will for sure talk and share it to others passionately, isn’t that the best word-of-mouth advertisement for Tesla?!

Source: YouTube

Great product will speak by itself — while Tesla is definitely beyond that level — they have done great job to build their marketing strategy into the product itself — the best way as I can think of so far.

Go Elon, Go Tesla!



Tommy Kan

A lifelong learner and explorer! Grew up in Asia, now enjoying the dynamism of Silicon Valley in the sunny California.