YouTube is where consumers reveal how they actually interact with products and services out in the real world. Few brands understand this fact better than Tesla Motors, the upstart electric car manufacturer that has witnessed both the good and bad publicity that can result from the platform’s unfiltered honesty. First, let’s take a quick look at the bad.
Tesla’s Catching Fire… Literally
In case you were beginning to doubt whether YouTube can impact a company’s stock price, simply watch this video from October 1st, 2013 of a Tesla Model S engulfed in flames on the side of the road. Two days after that video went viral, with about 3.5 million views as of this writing, Reuters noted a $2.4 billion hit to Tesla’s market value, prompting Elon Musk himself to explain in detail what actually happened.
Below is just one of many re-uploads of the original viral video:
While Tesla can certainly complain about these kinds of videos being cherry picked and distorting the truth around the safety of their cars, the lesson here is that perception matters. The sight, sound, and motion of video affects consumer perception more than any magazine advertisement, no matter how good the photograph. Moreover, when the video comes from regular folks on YouTube, that perception is given extra weight because of the trust and authenticity that comes from actual consumers.
Fast forward to 2015, and Tesla has plenty to smile about when it comes to consumer videos on YouTube. Thanks to these recent uploads from Tesla’s actual drivers and fans, the next time you get into a Tesla, you will likely want to ask…
Let’s Try the “Insane Mode”!
“Reaction” videos are one of the biggest trends on YouTube. Creators film themselves and others reacting to almost anything, whether it’s a new movie trailer, a climactic scene from Game of Thrones, or game-ending Super Bowl plays.
For Tesla, reaction videos have been a godsend thanks to the “Insane Mode” feature of their Tesla Model S P85D. To understand why, it’s essential to simply watch a few for yourself. The compilation below has nearly 5 million views, and contains explicit language, which is a given, because, well, these people are going insane:
We ran a search using ZEFR technology to see just how big this trend actually is:
The Value of YouTube
Try to quantify the value to Tesla of these homemade fan videos of drivers and their passengers experiencing pure joy in a Tesla car. Then, imagine millions of consumers watching and sharing these videos with their friends and families. What kind of impact should that have on Tesla’s stock price?
Again, while Tesla might gripe about one-off clips of cars catching fire, the important lesson to realize is consumers are engaging with brands on YouTube and other social platforms in a variety of ways. Given this reality, the only mistake is to sit on the sidelines and not engage.
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