Tesla is featured in its very own Super Bowl ad! Only, it’s not telling viewers to buy the electric vehicle.
On the contrary, the 30-second spot is actually from one of the company’s biggest critics and the commercial(Opens in a new tab) is calling for Tesla’s Full Self-Driving to be completely banned from public roads.
The ad was produced by the Dawn Project(Opens in a new tab), an organization founded by tech entrepreneur Dan O’Dowd and its goal is to “make computers safe for humanity.” O’Dowd and his group has had its sights set on Elon Musk’s Tesla for some time now and has already put millions(Opens in a new tab) of dollars into attempts to ban the company’s Full Self-Driving feature from roads.
The Dawn Project’s Super Bowl ad features numerous clips of Tesla’s autonomous driving feature failing to stop for child-sized test dummies crossing the street, ignoring road signs, and swerving into the wrong lane. The Super Bowl ad will air in Washington DC as well as other major metropolitan areas such as Austin,Texas and Atlanta, Georgia.
Tesla doesn’t advertise in traditional ways, so the company typically does not run TV spots. As a result, O’Dowd’s Super Bowl ad highlighting the company’s cars flaws could be many’s first real impression of Tesla, a point highlighted by the Washington Post(Opens in a new tab) in its analysis of the ad.
Anti-Tesla Super Bowl ad might not be the EV maker’s biggest worry
However, a Super Bowl ad showcasing major flaws with Tesla to hundreds of millions of potential consumers may not be the worst of the EV car company’s worries.
The U.S. The Department of Justice is currently probing(Opens in a new tab) Tesla over its autopilot and Full Self-Driving features. Experts believe the DOJ could be looking into safety problems or Tesla’s claims that its cars can drive itself when they can’t.
In addition to the Justice Department, Tesla is also being investigated for its autopilot and Full Self-Driving features by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA is the agency which has the power to stop Tesla from deploying these features on public roads. In Dawn Project’s Super Bowl ad, the organization appeals to the NHTSA to take action.
While Musk might or might not be happy with the Super Bowl ad targeting Tesla, there is perhaps a bright side. Advertisers reportedly(Opens in a new tab) doled out $7 million just to have the brand represented in a single 30-second commercial during the big game. Tesla didn’t have to spend a dime.