Very few companies are as well known across the globe as Tesla, Elon Musk's pride and joy. Recognised for their pioneering work on bringing electric cars to the eager public, the company was keen to emulate this success with their "Cybertruck" launch late last year. Unfortunately, the event left Musk and his team red-faced when things didn't go to plan.
Embarrassing Mistake Becomes Promo Gold
During the Cybertruck's launch in November of 2019, one of the major selling points of the vehicle was just how durable and stable it was. To illustrate this point, the head designer on the project, Franz von Holzhausen, threw metal balls directly at the Cybertruck's windows. The "bulletproof" windows should have stayed intact, proving the truck's near-invulnerability but in reality? The windows smashed. Both of them. Musk then had to continue the presentation in front of these embarrassingly destroyed windows.
While the smashed windows had a reasonable explanation (before being hit with the metal balls, they'd been clobbered with hammers thus making them weak), the internet was quick to have a laugh at Tesla's expense and the memes flowed heavily until the end of the year. However, in 2020 it seems that Tesla is well and truly having the last laugh. Not only was the vehicle recently named the 2019 Concept Car of the Year, but Tesla has just launched a limited-edition promotional t-shirt commemorating the disastrous Cybertruck launch event.
Printed T-Shirts for Brand Fans
Rather than shy away from their very public failure, Tesla has opted instead to embrace the incident as marketing gold. Their Cybertruck logo printed t-shirt shows the brand is not afraid to acknowledge mistakes and Tesla's die-hard fans have already started ordering the shirts en masse. Turning failure into a marketing merchandise opportunity won't work for every company, but in Tesla's case, there's a lot of inspiration to be had here. There was a lot of publicity for the company at this moment and rather than letting the internet dictate that it be negative, they quickly turned the situation into a positive. Not only do these customised tees look awesomely futuristic, but they're also selling like hotcakes!
So don't let your mishaps shape your corporate narrative, even a difficult moment can still count as a win if you market your organisation just right.
Details found here: https://shop.tesla.com/en_ca/product/men_s-cybertruck-bulletproof-tee