A Tale of David and Goliath
Lucid Motors, the luxury electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer, was set to make its global debut and first product unveiling of the Lucid Air at the New York International Auto Show 2020. However, with the coming of the pandemic, the global stage for Lucid’s official unveiling was no longer an option. Forced to pivot, Lucid had to act quickly — moving from the advantage of an internationally acclaimed stage with the auto show’s built-in audience to their own virtual launch event.
Compounding the challenge, a number of EV brands were getting ample media attention — with three going public in a span of three months and, of course, there was the behemoth in the space, Tesla.
Despite these obstacles, the objectives for this international launch were clear: drive global awareness for the Lucid Motors brand and the launch of the Lucid Air and, subsequently, help drive pre-orders (reservations) for the luxury EV sedan ahead of its 2021 commercial availability.
Lucid had just partnered with TEAM LEWIS as its official agency of record and the two worked to pivot to a new strategy to get global attention. With their share of voice, it was clear Tesla was the far category leader and competitors sought to challenge them. With the world upside down, the team flipped the scripts on the classic “David vs. Goliath” story. Instead of going after Tesla, Lucid chose a different approach — that of “David and Goliath.”
Using a “gravitational assist” from the household Tesla name, the strategy was designed to boost pre- and post-launch buzz and position Lucid as an ally for the EV industry from a technological perspective — all while further strengthening Lucid’s competitive positioning in the luxury automotive space. With this approach, Lucid strategized to tell a story where they both could coexist.
The team used the public awareness and media interest or aversion to Tesla to launch Lucid’s own campaign and leave enough room for media interpretation. This momentum was key to announcing the virtual event entitled “Dream Ahead” and building up to the global unveil of the Lucid Air on September 9, 2020.
Leading up to the rescheduled launch, Lucid Motor’s CEO, Peter Rawlinson’s messaging was designed to layer a sense of camaraderie across the EV industry, leveraging an angle of “Please don’t call us a Tesla Killer” that spoke to how Lucid and Tesla could “live alongside” one another.
The pre-launch media activities garnered buzz around the globe. Ultimately the momentum delivered a launch that was a resounding success, with results appearing across earned and owned channels:
- 250,000 people tuned in to the launch event
- 2,102 articles in the first 24 hours after launch
- 3,020 international articles appeared the week of launch
- 78% of SOV was achieved despite McLaren and Polestar car launches and a Nikola fraud report scandal
- 130+ Influencer videos appeared on YouTube with 1M+ views
- Trending spots in the CNN Top 5 and Hypebeast Most Hyped (just below Nike and Louis Vuitton)
- 16 national and local broadcast airings including a CNBC documentary feature
- 100+ organic social media posts, garnering:
- 2.6M total impressions
- 463K total video views
- 194K total engagements
- 6K total clicks