Startup automaker Elio Motors launched its first television campaign recently. The 30 and 60 second spots feature Founder Paul Elio in an optimistic appeal to alter the course of transportation. Viewers are gradually brought around a corner, in an elderly warehouse, where the car stands under a white sheet. It sits in contrast to the gritty industrial setting as it’s gradually revealed.
Mr. Elio provides his sincere, somber voice.
Building a new car is a complex undertaking, particularly when tackling it in conjunction with the company’s unique social, environmental, and buy-American mission. It’s a heavy task and its gravity is conveyed in the spots. The commercials also hit on the car’s value proposition. For example, its efficiency and 84 mile per gallon fuel economy, highlighted by its American origin and potential to impact the future of transportation.
The spots are airing on a variety of cable properties including ESPN, Fox News, and National Geographic. Now in their third week, the company reports their weekly reservation rate has doubled. If they can continue to connect a positive consumer response with the commercials, look for more television advertising in Elio’s future.
Exactly how Elio will alter the course is unknown, but according to Jerome Vassallo, VP of Sales, the company remains on track to begin production in late 2016. If you are one of Elio’s 50,000 reservation holders, peering around the corner and to the end of the year probably feels like an eternity.
For the rest of us, the future is probably nigh, but for Elio Motors, the future is essential.
*Seth Parks is an auto industry veteran, entrepreneur, and Seattle Seahawks fan. Follow him on Twitter: @mseth_parks