Ads at supercharger sites

Ads at supercharger sites

Although I prefer art nouveau, I am perfectly happy with Tesla's minimalist aesthetic. I have no objection to clean, uncluttered design. This plainly extends to the supercharger sites as well as to the cars themselves. However....

I would think the opportunity to defer cost and likely even make money would engender some thought about allowing and promoting advertisements at supercharger sites. Something decorous yet informative. Perhaps an electronic ad board; obviously something weatherized.

Merchants in sc areas are aware that they have, if only for a short while, a highly-desirable as well as captive demographic. Something as simple as "10% off your bill at (?) if you show your Tesla fob" would, I think, be a good business draw. And variations thereof.

Tesla charges for the ad space, the merchants get more business, and Tesla owners get discounts. Something worth exploring, I would think.

Red Sage ca us | 31/05/2014

Marketing & Promotion -- sure.

Advertising -- nah.

It is definitely a good idea to form partnerships wherever possible to make life easier and more convenient for Tesla's Customer base. As long as it were set up with that in mind, I'm good with it. Specifically having advertisements of another company's products is where I'd draw the line.

JohhnyS | 31/05/2014

One of the great things about superchargers is how low key they can be. I like how I do not have to ask permission, pay, or sign in. It is kind of like being part of a secret club. Non Tesla people will see me plugged and walk over in amazement.

No ads, no promotions, just leave me alone and let me charge in peace. I am bombarded with endless promotional drivel everywhere else we go.

stevenmaifert | 31/05/2014

With the exception of Fremont and Hawthorne, I'm not sure Tesla actually owns the property where the SC's are sited. I think it's leased and would be subject to whatever agreement they have with the owner. Speaking of captive audience, would you be agreeable to advertisements sent to your dash and touchscreen in exchange for continued gratis 3G when the freebie runs out? Kinda like what you get on your Kindle when you first turn it on.

Red Sage ca us | 31/05/2014

Steven: I wouldn't doubt that T-Mobile, Sprint, or Verizon would want to claim a permanent strip above the climate controls for advertisements of that sort, if they got the next service contract from Tesla Motors for wireless data service. As that would coincide with the approximate release of Generation III, it might be a good way for Tesla to roll out internet services to all Customers at no additional charge. People who wanted to get rid of the ad strip could just find their own carrier, I suppose, perhaps with a shared plan through their regular mobile carrier.

GAGSTESLA | 31/05/2014

It would be funny to see other car makers advertise there! How about gas stations? Adds for motor oils? Spark plugs? Sorry, just in a good mood today thinking I don't have to think about any of those anymore.

Roamer@AZ USA | 31/05/2014

I was surprised they didn't even put, Learn more at on the chargers. You would think they would at least put their website on the Super Chargers.

Red Rover | 31/05/2014

I'm with jmatson.

Mark2131@CA-US | 31/05/2014

For me, the only advertising that I'd care to see is for LOCAL businesses. Example: Eat at Joe's burgers while you recharge. 10% off if you show your key fob.

The cost and effort required to manage this on a global scale is probably not worth it for Tesla. So, we're back to "keep it clean".

NOLEK SUM | 31/05/2014

The target population is way too small.

Jamon | 31/05/2014

Tesla definitely needs to - and will - keep it clean. However, @stevenmaifert raises a good point. Someone else owns the parking lot area where the superchargers are located. That means they could decide to start advertising to Model S owners without TMs permission. I would be very unhappy if I was bombarded by ads from TV monitors the way I used to be at gas stations. I guess the good news is that it only takes a few seconds to plug in and get out of there. Therefore (hopefully) no incentive for obnoxious ads.

PBEndo | 01/06/2014

This makes me wonder if we will eventually see roadside beggars (Will work for food - God Bless!) and windshield squeegee guys, sitting at Superchargers looking for a handout from the wealthy Tesla drivers with time to kill.

More than once I have been approached at a gas station while filling up my ICE, which only takes 5 minutes.

bobrobert | 01/06/2014

Surprising to hear a suggestion for advertising, although your arguments for it make sense. Except for the hope that it could be 'decorous yet informative' - not a chance; whether a shouting little furniture salesman or a large, offensively pink Geico pig, advertisers adhere to the celebrities' principle that any press is good press, and seem to prefer or are more capable of evoking strong negative emotion than anything akin to art. And be informative in the manner of the spin-doctors producing ads for the energy industries.
Maybe Tesla could use some of the income derived to create a department of advertising aesthetics - but that sounds vaguely like discussing the efficiency of coasting vs regenerative breaking.

bobrobert | 01/06/2014

Did it again.. braking

thranx | 01/06/2014

I can't draw or I'd do this cartoon:

Tesla driver recharging looking at forlorn robot sitting by the side of a supercharger, holding up a sign that says, "Will work for electrons".

NO2PTRL | 01/06/2014

I say keep it clean....
Tesla has already kept costs low in choosing these locations.

My Tesla nav can't even find the CS. It gets you close and then it's hide and seek.

But now that I know to find them behind a Denny's, Coco's, Marie Calenders etc, not exactly a Tesla owners dining preference. Las Vegas was even within a building, it is an adventure.

Also, good marketing is being pushed to your smart phone today, and why clutter up our charging when your smart phone, Trip Advisor etc, can get you anything you need in the area, unless you don't have cell.

But....., I might give up on the clutter free zone IF with the clutter came free Tesla WiFi.

AmpedRealtor | 01/06/2014

Why would any Model S owner advocate for posting advertising at the supercharger sites, or god forbid, on our 17" screens? Is this a joke?

DTsea | 01/06/2014

Let me gut this straight i pay $2000 extra for supercharging AND i have to see ads? WTF kind of stupid offensive idea is that?

DTsea | 01/06/2014

Get this straight i mean

DTsea | 01/06/2014

AR if a joke it is a sick one.

thranx | 01/06/2014

@amped; no advertising is the joke (saw that in Moscow in '87...weird).

I advocate for anything that keeps costs down and makes a product more affordable without impacting my quality of life. So, you would rather not see advertising at an sc site despite whatever benefits might accrue from permitting it?

I wasn't thinking of adverts on the car screen, but since you mention it, what if the company offered free 4G connectivity if you agree to view the occasional ad? With the ability to opt out of the arrangement and instead pay for the 4G service, or stick with free 3G? Is that an option that should never be contemplated, just "because"?

I'm not fond of all the real estate brochure racks I see littering storefronts and restaurants, but their existence doesn't shorten my lifespan. And sometimes (just sometimes) they're fun to flip through.

thranx | 01/06/2014

@DTSea; if you watch TV, or surf the web, do you pay for cable or satellite connectivity? If so, do you ever come across a program or site that carries advertising? Does a subscriber to the NY Times (or Fox network, if you prefer) have the right to expect an ad-free environment?

If I'm running a company, my job is keep it profitable without alienating customers. If I'm CFO at Tesla and I have a choice between recommending raising the base price of the car by $3000 or allowing some limited advertising at supercharger sites, which is option should I choose?

A little market research would be in order.

NKYTA | 01/06/2014

It is a tough call.

Would I be in favor of Tesla offsetting costs for free wifi or squeegee installation with minimal advertising that saves me 10-20% at the local eatery, that is probably a "sure".

Do we need more "noise", whether electronic or visual, no.
I don't think TM wants to go that route. I think the SC's are all KISS and I'm cool with that.

If there is no great benefit for me, then "no thanks"...keep them as is and have SolrCity add solar panels where it makes sense.

First world issues, for sure. :-)

thranx | 02/06/2014

@NKYTA; yes, it's a tough call indeed. You'd have thought I was advocating mandatory heroin injections for preschoolers.

Would I personally rather there be no advertising at sc sites? You bet. Is it more important to see the company prosper, the stock price go up, maybe see a dividend announced some day? I think so. Last time I looked, Teslamotors was not registered as a philanthropic enterprise.

What does one do while charging up at those garden spots of the universe, the sc sites? (Barstow. North Dakota in January. Quartzite in June). Go to a coffee shop...see advertising. Go have a meal. See advertising. Do some shopping...definitely exposed to advertising. Spend a few seconds plugging in and unplugging at an sc site...gotta be sacrosanct?

I've used the Volta charging system. As opposed to, say, Blink, it's free (just like an sc) because it's advertiser supporter. The ads are discreet and if I don't want to look at them I can look at a tree instead. I appreciate not having to find a card, make sure it's accepted by the charger, enter a code number, and wait to see if the whole thing is gonna work. I guarantee it's painless and that one's personal aesthetic view of the world is not harmed. I doubt a little advertising at sc sites would result in benumbed drivers stumbling away clutching at their eyes and screaming.

AmpedRealtor | 02/06/2014

@ thranx,

I'm advocating for my own position as a consumer, I am not advocating for what's in Tesla's best interest. Advertising revenue from superchargers is hardly something that's going to have a noticeable impact on Tesla's bottom line. It will, however, annoy the hell out of most owners. That is not a way to build up good will and to make your charging network popular. It's a desperate move that Tesla doesn't need to make, and one which the majority of owners won't want.

Tesla, please send all ads to thranx' car. He's the only one who wants them and thinks they are a good idea. Please don't let him ruin it for the rest of us.

DTsea | 02/06/2014

Ar +1000. And yes thranx advertising is way too much. $12 for a movie should buy ad free time. There shouldnt be coke machines in school. No ad banners in my car. And when they added those awful screens in airports and gas stations i saw no prices declibe for anything.

thranx | 02/06/2014

Good discussion (even if y'all are a bit, um, irked).

@amped; "I'm advocating for my own position as a consumer, I am not advocating for what's in Tesla's best interest."

I kinda had the feeling they were the same. And I reckon you don't hold any stock in the company.

"Advertising revenue from superchargers is hardly something that's going to have a noticeable impact on Tesla's bottom line."

If that's the case, they won't do it. If it's not the case, I would expect at least a courtesy survey of owners prior to doing so.

@DTsea: "$12 for a movie should buy ad free time."

$4 for a movie should buy ad free time. The question is, without the ads, would the ticket be $15, or...?

"And when they added those awful screens in airports and gas stations i saw no prices declibe (decline) for anything."

Agreed. The question is, did the screens prevent prices from going up?

I'm not advocating for advertising here (pace, Amped). I'm merely playing Devil's advocate for something that may or may not eventually occur. It would be naive to think that those charged with increasing Tesla's revenue (think all those branded frunk bags and t-shirts) haven't been discussing this very issue since 2012.

AmpedRealtor | 02/06/2014

I am a stockholder and still think it's a bad idea. Don't shit where you eat.

DTsea | 02/06/2014

Thranx you have certainly drunk the ad industry koolaid.

Red Sage ca us | 08/06/2014


There was a movie, I can't remember it's name, but I always mistake it for either 'Brainstorm' (1983) or 'Scanners' (1981), and later 'They Live' (1988) reminded me of it too... Anyway, the premise of the movie was that television producers had come up with a new way of presenting advertising that simply could not be ignored. The television could actually lead people to focus on specific things, even during a show, and not realized they were effectively being brainwashed to buy a certain product.

Ever since I saw the movie, whatever it was, I have been very wary of advertising in general. I notice that advertising is present, but purposely focus away from it. I try to see the man behind the curtain instead. I look at the reasons why the advertising is there, and imagine what it would be like if it were not. It gets harder all the time.

You go to a place like the Nokia Center and ESPN Zone in Downtown Los Angeles that sprung up adjacent to the Staples Center and everything, everywhere is up in lights at least ten times the size that is actually necessary to convey meaning. Heck, the very fact those places have those names is because someone was convinced advertising was needed, even within the names of public venues. It becomes more and more apparent that advertisers were much inspired by what is shown in movies like 'Blade Runner' (1982) to make fully animated, building high advertisements the norm -- so they have.

People in the US sometimes laugh at how 'branded' team uniforms have become in international soccer. But they don't seem to realize it is every bit as bad in NFL, MLB, and NBA. It used to be you didn't even notice the Champion or MacGregor or Rawlings or Riddle logos on clothing, shoes, equipment... It became very apparent when they seemed to all be replaced exclusively by Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Wilson... And this spread to other sports as well, like tennis and golf. At least auto racing never denied they were all about the ads.

Camera placement for sporting events seems to always be done specifically so that you can see the advertising in the arena. I now actively call the NBA the 'National Free Throw League', because these breaks in the action now happen more often than ever before and every single camera angle is orchestrated so that you see... the name of a beer company on the stanchion, the name of an airline on the floor, a link to a webpage on top of the backboard, a rolling marquis at the scoring table... The free throws take longer and longer every single year, allowing commentators to tell viewers about an exciting new show that will be debuting after this doubleheader concludes while graphics fill the lower third of the screen with information on yet another new show premier in glorious animated obnoxiousness...

It's pretty bad in MLB too. The camera angle showing a pitch has grown wider and wider off center since FOX Sports entered the fray. That's because the rolling marquis that is to the left of the pitcher has grown wider, and taller, and brighter with each season and the camera angle changes so that you can see the whole thing between the pitcher and the catcher. Yeah, I'm old. I remember when the camera would be directly over a right-handed pitcher's right shoulder and peer directly at home plate. But the advertising is more important than the game, because that is what pays the bills. Right?

I'm really rather sick of advertising. I like Coke because I like to drink Coca-Cola. If they never advertise to me again, I'll still like Coke. I've probably seen thousands of ads for Budweiser and Miller High Life. I still don't buy or drink their products. I have for a very long time felt that advertising was an absolute waste of money.

I say all this to point out why I am so very much intrigued by the fact Tesla Motors does not advertise. I believe that is the correct and proper strategy. I believe they should stay that way from now on. I disagree with those who say they cannot reach the number of customers they will need to become a major mass market player without resorting to advertising. And I really don't think they need to either co-brand or cross-advertise with anyone. Ever.

windex | 08/06/2014

Even if they put ads at superchargers, it's not like they're uploading them to your car for later playback at stop signs.

What's more annoying? Putting ads in music and video content you're paying to access. It even consumes time you can't get back, and every time somebody comes up with a way to prevent that loss of time, the media companies sue them (Tivo, ReplayTV, etc).

Ads at a supercharger? Okay, well, as long as I don't have to go hit a 'Show me the next ad' button every five seconds or whatever insane crap we can dream up in this thread, who cares. I'm going to plug in and go find lunch or whatever it is I'm doing while the car is charging.

(This is why they probably won't do this, though I would actually probably appreciate it if they ran "ads" at the sites that pointed out things within 5-10 minutes walking distance.)

Brian H | 09/06/2014

AFAIK the Sun Country cross-Canada free 70+A charging network is ad-free, sponsored however by local businesses and hotels etc. who want the traffic.

frankviaje | 09/06/2014

IMHO, this is a lousy idea which is at odds with everything Tesla has been doing. If they were selling Yugos, I'd say go for it...

sklancha | 09/06/2014

This is an intriguing debate in which both sides have very valid points. I am sure that there is a happy medium that can exist. If a supercharger is in a location that has multiple businesses that could compete for my 'downtime,' it would be nice to know which businesses are the most willing to make it worth my while. I don't think that a bunch of taped up 8 1/2 x 11 fliers would make me happy- but it would be pretty cool to know that -for example- when I get to the St. Augustine Florida Supercharger [which I think is at a major outlet mall], who would be willing to make it worth my effort to visit their establishment while I have time to kill. The FOB idea is kind of cool. This can be done very low key. You pull up to a charging station and you can be asked [through your app?] whether or not your are interested in what local amenities are available, and whether you are interested in any special deals they offer for you.

I have not had the privilege of using a supercharging station yet, but since I plan on doing some travel this summer, I would not mind knowing what all is nearby and who wants my business...

barrykmd | 03/02/2020

flagged luckyp...