Electric Vehicle Startup Polestar Jabs Elon Musk and Volkswagen in Super Bowl LVI Ad

by Victoria Santiago

Electric vehicle startup Polestar didn’t waste any time with their first-ever Super Bowl ad. They went straight after their competitors. Their competitors include Tesla and Volkswagen.

The 30-second Super Bowl LVI ad, called “No Compromises,” gets right to the point. The ad focuses on close-up shots of the company’s Polestar 2 electric vehicle. It’s dark, sleek, and mysterious up until the very end of the ad, when we get a full-body shot of the car.

As we watch the ad, one word keeps popping up on the screen: “no.” Each time the word is shown, it’s followed up by other words or phrases that are related to other car companies (and their Super Bowl commercials, if they have them).

No Funny Punchlines in This Polestar Ad

For example, the Polestar ad includes general sayings such as this: “no epic voiceovers” and “no dirty secrets.” However, the ad also indirectly calls out competitors. “No dieselgate” refers to an emissions scandal that Volkswagen has had in the past. “No conquering Mars” is a clear jab at Tesla and its ambitious space-traveling CEO, Elon Musk. He plans to have humans on Mars by 2026. The Super Bowl ad ends with “No. 2” and “Polestar 2.” This refers to the company’s all-electric performance car.

This ad doesn’t quite follow the traditional Super Bowl ad format. That is to say, it’s not funny. However, if there’s any ad that could potentially elicit a response from Elon Musk, we think this would be it. Musk is quick to call out anyone that speaks negatively about any of his companies, including Tesla. You can watch the ad (and look for the subtle call-outs) for yourself below.

First-Ever Super Bowl Ad Meant to Bring U.S. Awareness to the EV Brand

All things considered, it’s a pretty strong first ad for the electric vehicle startup. It certainly gets the point across. Thus, it achieves exactly what Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath wanted it to.

“The Super Bowl is an iconic event and I’m excited to bring Polestar’s message to such a wide audience,” Ingenlath said in a statement. “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 US, and beyond.”

Polestar is controlled by Volvo. Last September, they announced that they had made a deal to go public during the first half of this year. CNBC reports that they’ll be combining with a U.S.-listed blank-check firm backed by billionaire Alec Gores and investment bank Guggenheim Partners. Due to that, we’re sure that this is far from the last thing we’ll hear from Polestar.