Elon Musk just served a lesson in free advertisement for the Tesla Cybertruck

Tesla CEO Elon Musk introducing the Cybertruck in November 2019.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk introducing the Cybertruck in November 2019.Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images
  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk pulled up to the F1 race in Austin, Texas on Sunday in his company's new Cybertruck.

  • His surprise visit drew a crowd of onlookers, with some X users calling the move "free advertising."

  • Musk previously spoke about challenges in producing the car at scale when announcing its delivery date: "I mean we dug our own grave with Cybertruck."

Tesla CEO Elon Musk made a splashy entrance at Sunday's F1 race in Austin, Texas, in his company's new Cybertruck — a move that some social media users see as a savvy free advertising moment for a company that's famously anti-paid advertisement.

A video showing Musk's arrival at the race venue racked up over 600,000 views. One X user, resharing a recording of Musk pulling up at the race venue, called the move "the best ad ever." Another user said driving the Cybertruck to F1 was "free advertising."

The billionaire's surprise appearance at the race venue even drew crowds of onlookers, with event personnel seen directing crowds away so Musk could drive through, as seen on videos uploaded onto X and Reddit.

The F1 United States Grand Prix took place in Austin, Texas, from Friday to Sunday, with Dutch racer Max Verstappen clinching first place after a tense finish.

Another video appeared to show X, Musk's son with Canadian singer Grimes, waving at the F1 crowd from inside the cybertruck was also uploaded onto X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

For context, the company has historically relied on word-of-mouth and social media promotion from Musk himself, with the Tesla CEO announcing in May that his company would start using paid advertising for the first time.

Tesla announced the Cybertruck's launch date during the company's second-quarter earnings call. Tesla stock tumbled 9% on Thursday after earnings announcement, and the share-price decline meant Elon Musk's net worth fell by $16 billion in a single day.

The Cybertruck is set to be delivered to customers on November 30, nearly four years after it was first unveiled.

However, Musk said during the earnings call he expected "enormous challenges" in producing the Cybertruck at scale, primarily because the truck requires new manufacturing processes for its unusual design.

"I mean we dug our own grave with Cybertruck," Musk said on the call.

And Ed Kim, the chief analyst at the auto-industry consulting firm AutoPacific, told Insider that the car's design could mean a "fairly premium" price tag due to battery prices and the stainless steel panels.

Representatives for Tesla and Musk did not respond to requests for comment from Insider, sent outside regular business hours.

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