Tesla taps fans' creativity for surreal 'Not a dream' ad

Social video experts Be On review this fan-made Tesla viral

Independently created Tesla Model S spot is thoroughly dark and eerie

Automotive and energy storage company Tesla Motors calls out to those 'secret revolutionaries' willing to challenge the norm, as it promotes its latest zero-emissions Model S.

Haunting, yet quietly optimistic, the film ad makes viewers feel part of a dystopian dream. 9.5/10

Thoroughly dark and eerie, this unofficial spot was created independently by Tesla fans and commercial- and short-film-makers the Freise Brothers. Haunting, yet quietly optimistic, the ad makes viewers feel part of a dystopian dream.

The film echoes the sentiments of Serbian American physicist, engineer and inventor, Nikola Tesla, after whom the marque is named. Inspired by a 1905 article written by Tesla on the power of wireless electricity, the narrator explains how humanity is "not yet sufficiently advanced to be willingly led by the inventor's keen, searching sense", but subtly encourages audiences to believe that great ideas are destined "to emerge all the more triumphantly" from the struggle.

Powerful force

Tying in nicely with this theme, Tesla isn’t afraid to think outside the box and is known for enlisting the help of independent creatives and fans around the world. It knows that a dedicated and loyal fan base can be a powerful force.

Previous examples include Everdream Pictures’ ‘Modern spaceship’ spot, which tapped into the audience’s inner child, while director Sam O'Hare’s beautifully orchestrated video used CGI to create a stunning image of a car formed from ‘Fireflies’.

The latest ad in a string of independently made creative spots, ‘Not a dream’ takes a far darker approach, shot largely in black and white and set to a crackling 'vintage recording' sound.

Released by the Freise Brothers in late January, the film has clocked up more than 45,000 views on YouTube.

Subscribe to Campaign from just £57 per quarter

Includes the weekly magazine and quarterly Campaign IQ, plus unrestricted online access.


Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

1 Meet the new breed of ad agency chiefs

A new wave of first-time CEOs are opting to do things differently in an evolving landscape. They discuss the business model of the future with Jeremy Lee.

Case study: How 'This girl can' got 1.6 million women exercising

1 Case study: How 'This girl can' got 1.6 million women exercising

"This girl can" was based on a powerful insight: that the fear of judgement by others is the primary barrier holding women back from participating in sport.

Just published