Polestar’s Super Bowl Ad Takes Shots at Elon Musk, Tesla & Volkswagen – Why Does it Matter?

Polestar 2 all-electric 5-door fastback car in grey parked in a forest during a cold winter day with snow on the ground in Gelderland, The Netherlands.
Sjo / Getty Images

Swedish electric vehicle company Polestar — founded by Volvo and Zhejiang Geely Holding — aired its first-ever Super Bowl ad during the game on Sunday, Feb. 13, taking clear shots at rivals Tesla and Volkswagen.

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The 30-second spot centered around Polestar’s ethos of ‘no compromises’ and features the Polestar 2 electric performance fastback, the company said in a press release.

The rather straightforward ad shows sentences that read “no epic voice-overs,” “no punchlines,” “no dieselgate,” -a reference to Volkswagen’s debacle- “no dirty secrets,” “no dirty agenda, “no empty promises,” “no shortcuts,” and in a clear Elon Musk reference, “no conquering Mars.”

It didn’t take too long for Musk to respond, replying with a smiley face emoji to a Twitter user who said: “Volvo just aired their EV ad, which they paid $7 million to have played during the Super Bowl. Bold strategy to take digs at Elon Musk, VW and the rest of legacy auto lol.”

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“The Super Bowl is an iconic event and I’m excited to bring Polestar’s message to such a wide audience,” Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO, said in the release. “We are a young and ambitious brand. We believe in ‘no compromises’, for our design language, our sustainability efforts, and the performance of our cars, and we wanted to share that philosophy with this ad. This is the perfect place to further raise awareness of our brand in the U.S., and beyond.”

Polestar announced in January that it delivered on its global sales target of 29,000 vehicles in 2021, representing year-on-year growth exceeding 185%.

In 2021, Polestar also announced its plans to launch three new cars over the next three years. The first of these, Polestar 3, a premium electric performance SUV, is expected to launch in 2022, the company said in the release. In addition, the company intends to manufacture Polestar 3 in both China and the U.S.

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Polestar also intends to list on the Nasdaq in a proposed business combination with Gores Guggenheim, which is expected to close in the first half of 2022, according to an investor relations announcement on its website.

Existing Polestar investors include Volvo Car Group and affiliates of Geely Chairman Eric Li, and actor and activist Leonardo DiCaprio, amongst others, according to the announcement.

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Upon closing of the proposed business combination, the combined company will be held by a new public company that will be named Polestar Automotive Holding UK Limited, which is expected to be listed on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “PSNY.” The transaction implies an enterprise value of approximately $20 billion.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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