A Blog by Jonathan Low


Feb 12, 2018

There's Advertising and Marketing. And Then There's Elon Musk

How one image captured the public imagination. JL

Mark Wnek reports in Advertising Age:

Elon doesn't do advertising and marketing. He certainly doesn't do digital. He just executes his vision.
I can think of few more challenging jobs right now than being a marketer.
One moment you're enjoying the fruits of a complex and demanding education, the next moment everything you've learned no longer applies, or barely.
I'm sure there are plenty modern so-called marketing gurus each of whom has the answer – each a different one, but in the end the current situation seems similar to Bill Goldman's famous declaration about the movie business, "Nobody knows anything."
According to all available evidence, marketers seem to believe that the safest bet is to corral all things digital. The digital era is indeed a wonderful godsend.
From feeling closer to those once so far away, to getting sick in a remote African village but being able to get the most advanced medical opinion in the world thanks to IBM's Watson.
Interestingly (and bordering on the amusingly), from my vantage point the lion's share of marketing efforts seem to be going into reducing digital to stuff like the direct marketing of old.
To the idea that the ability to live in people's pockets is the most exciting development, and that the most effective execution around this fact is to enact the 'modern' version of cramming people's letterboxes/doorsteps full of unwanted, unsolicited marketing materials.
Wow! Way to maximize the greatest technological gift in human history!
And then there's Elon Musk.
Elon doesn't do advertising and marketing. He certainly doesn't do digital. He just executes his vision.
That vision would probably sound glib if articulated—"Tesla is a symbol of human ambition and progress", perhaps.
Instead, Elon simply behaves in such a way that people ingest this truth—and it is a truth.
While mere mortals scrabble about spending millions to fight each other over seconds of air time in between a Super Bowl, Mr Musk is launching the most powerful rocket ever into space via his space exploration company SpaceX.


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