Electric-car advertising hasn't exactly started a groundswell of buyers flocking to showrooms, as SUV ads did in the 1990s, for example.
Yes, there haven't been enough EV ads. And too many of the ones that automakers have produced have been overly serious or preachy.
By far the most successful company at selling electric cars, Tesla, doesn't advertise at all.
Our readers have previously expressed an interest in more ads that simply tout the benefits of EVs, such as silent acceleration, great interior room, and good handling, as this Audi E-tron quattro ad did, showing the car climbing a ski jump.
Another E-tron ad showing the car challenging negative stereotypes against EVs was also well-received.
While those ads may have caught the attention of a few traditional carbuyers, they didn't generate the buzz of more viral, often funnier ads.
Too often, though, even when electric car ads do try to be funny, they come across as trite, and trying too hard. In our book, Audi's Superbowl ad and an Electrify America effort were prime examples, though it's hard to beat the size of the Superbowl audience.
To that end, we thought we'd gauge our readers' reactions to the latest ad from Veloz, a non-profit EV advocacy group made up of environmentalists, utilities, automakers, and other interested parties that showed Arnold Schwarzenegger spoofing a used-car dealer hawking Hummers in the face of a new wave of shoppers who want to plug in.
Schwarzenegger, you'll recall, is the Terminator action hero cum California governor, who was famous for driving Hummers before becoming governor of the most environmentally progressive state and having his Hummer fleet converted to battery and fuel-cell power.
The ad is funny, solidly tongue-in-cheek, and watchable over and over.
Can a funny ad with Arnold Schwarzenegger really sell more electric cars?— Green Car Reports (@GreenCarReports) July 2, 2019
For this week's Twitter poll, we decided to ask readers how it resonated with them, and whether they think it will help sell any more electric cars. The poll asks: "Can a funny Arnold Schwarzenegger ad sell more electric cars?" That assumes, of course, that it gets wide enough distribution to make an impact. Still, a positive reception could earn the content a wider internet audience, at least.
That leaves the options simple: Yes, No, or Not for me. For those who so can't get into it that they think no one else can either, there's, "It's not funny."
Let us know what you think. And remember, our Twitter polls are unscientific because of low sample size, and because our audience is self-selected. The real proof may come in sales.