Few things in business are sweeter than free advertising.
When that free advertising comes from a new and ballyhooed competitor?
You’re going to need a German dictionary to define that sort of schadenfreude … so somebody should send one of those to Ford Motor Company as soon as possible.
Ford found itself in the enviable position of having a new competitor touting how great Ford trucks are after a disastrous Christmas outing for a new owner of one of Tesla’s (and Elon Musk’s) Cybertrucks.
Earlier this week, a viral video made its way to social media that showed a Tesla Cybertruck being saved from a literal slippery slope … by a Ford truck.
View this post on Instagram
“Cyber Truck getting recovered after sliding off trail at Corral Hollow ohv. No clue why he was so far off trail,” the original Instagram post noted.
(Corral Hollow OHV is an off-road trail in Bear Valley, California.)
Obviously, the visual of a stuck Cybertruck — trying to futilely haul a Christmas tree, no less — is not the best look for Tesla or Musk.
But the fact that a competitor had to save this Cybertruck is just the icing on the cake.
The video swiftly went viral and it highlighted just some of the struggles Musk has had in launching the high-tech truck.
In fact, the video went so viral that Ford CEO Jim Farley actually took to X to address it … including a gentle correction to people saying the Cybertruck was saved by a Ford F-150.
— Jim Farley (@jimfarley98) December 13, 2023
“Just to be clear … this is a Super Duty and NOT advertising,” Farley posted.
The CEO added: “Glad a @Ford owner was there to help.”
While this interaction appears to largely be harmless banter, it is worth noting that this “friendly” rivalry between Ford and Cybertruck has existed for some time now — hardly a surprise, given the potentially overlapping customer base.
Back in 2019, shortly after Musk first revealed the Cybertruck, Tesla launched an ad that depicted a Cybertruck and a Ford F-150 in a tug-of-war.
That resulted in a friendly back-and-forth in 2019 … not dissimilar to Farley’s tone on X after this most recent viral video.
For now, whatever schadenfreude that Ford may be enjoying will be probably be similarly muted.
But if these viral videos keep cropping up, that friendly rivalry could become toxic very quickly.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.