An advertisement for the Tesla Model Y was recently spotted at the Tokyo Haneda International Airport by an X (formerly Twitter) user, who filmed the rare occurrence and posted a 19-second-long video on his personal account.
As you can see in the post embedded below, images and various facts about the Model Y, which was the world’s best-selling car in the first quarter, were cycling on multiple big screens, emphasizing things like the Supercharger network, the so-called Autopilot driving assistance system, Camp Mode, and more.
In one corner of the screen, there was a QR code that passers-by could scan with their smartphones to be directed to the EV maker’s local website.
This is possibly the first time when Tesla tried its hand at advertising in a public space, after years of refusing to pay for ads of any kind. But earlier this year, Elon Musk announced that the maker of the Model Y will try “a little advertising,” saying during the shareholders meeting in May that he took the decision on the spot after being asked by someone in the audience why Tesla doesn’t advertise the main selling points of its EVs like over-the-air (OTA) updates that can improve the cars’ safety features.
Before buying ad space in Japan, Tesla previously spent some money on Google ads that show up in search results, as well as a testimonial-style video that was shot in Singapore and published on the Tesla Asia X account.
In Japan, EV adoption is far from impressive, with just 2.1 percent of all new passenger cars sold being battery-powered cars in the fiscal year 2022, but they are increasing. A total of 77,238 EVs were purchased in The Land of the Rising Sun in the year that ended in March, 3.1 times more than the year before, according to Nikkei.
With this being said, Tesla isn’t one of the top players here. Instead, electric kei cars from local manufacturers rule the game, with the Nissan Sakura being the best-selling EV in Japan in fiscal year 2022 (33,097 units). The Leaf was in second place, with 12,751 units sold, while the Mitsubishi eK X came in third with 7,657 cars sold. In other words, advertising in Japan might be a good thing for Tesla, raising brand awareness and hopefully gaining more sales.