If they made a standard looking pickup, how would we tell it apart from any other Ford/Chevy/Toyota/etc.?
Instead, it looks like (to quote Benedict Evans), “a prop from a 1980s Jean Claude Van Damme movie,” or (quoting others), a doorstop, the old Apple mouse, or a triangle on wheels. The so-called indestructible window accidentally shattered in the product demonstration.
And, everyone is talking about it.
Tesla may not have the money and supply chains to build cars and trucks “the normal way,” but they do have the marketing genius to make sure they’re front and center in every auto conversation. Even non-electric vehicle/non-eco-conscious/regular-people-who-aren’t-going-to-buy-one are talking about them. If they went head to head against the big auto companies with slight variations on the standard products, they would likely lose. If they successfully create a different story, it gives them a chance at survival. The Cybertruck is a gambit that electric alone isn’t enough. They turned this one up to eleven.
Marketing can include design and design can include marketing. If we want people to talk about our products and services, we need to have products and services worth talking about. They don’t necessarily have to be better, but they do have to be different.
The Cybertruck isn’t just an electric vehicle, it’s a billboard, a social media campaign, and a cocktail party conversation starter, all for Tesla. Brilliant.