Tesla 'hires' witty museum sheep tweeter

A picture of two Twitter profile pictures, on the left Elon Musk with a sheep as his picture, on the right the Museum of Rural English Life with Elon Musk as its picture. Image copyright Twitter
Image caption Adam Koszary (not pictured) has been hired to be Tesla's social media manager but was it because of this sheep which took the fancy of Elon Musk?

What happens when you post a picture of "an absolute unit" of a sheep to your work Twitter account and it then gets picked up by Elon Musk - also known as the 25th most powerful person in the world?

For Adam Koszary, the social media strategist behind The Museum of English Rural Life's Twitter account, it appears to have been a great career move as he says he's now been hired to be the social media manager for automotive company Tesla.

The Tesla founder has history with the museum after temporarily changing his profile picture into a photo of an Exmoor Horn aged ram that @TheMERL owned and was a viral sensation a year previously.

In response, Adam changed the museum's Twitter name to the "Muskeum of Elongish Rural Life" and its profile picture to Musk's smiling visage.

Image copyright @TheMERL

Adam revealed the move in a tweet late Tuesday on his personal account stating: "I'm no longer moving to the Royal Academy. Instead I'll be Tesla's Social Media Manager from July."

He tweeted last month that after six years working with "amazing people in Reading" he was leaving his job as programme manager and digital lead for Museums Partnership Reading to go be the social media editor at The Royal Academy.

Do androids dream of electric sheep?

In April Adam wrote a Medium post entitled "Swapping souls with Elon Musk" which explained his strategy around the surreal sheep interaction this year which took the internet by storm. In it he said "I didn't coordinate this with Elon Musk. It was just weird and it just happened. The best I could do was react."

He added that the museum's Twitter account received many private messages from people thinking they were contacting Mr Musk himself and seeking jobs, money, Teslas and memes.

Back then, he also told the BBC: "The end-game for our whole Twitter is engaging people with English rural life, even if that means memes.

"We'll change our picture back either when Elon changes his back, or at the point where people are confused enough to show up to Elon Musk's house expecting it to be the Museum of English Rural Life."

The joke eventually came to an end. However it's not the first time the museum has gained attention for a viral hit.

In January 2019 it started a war with fellow museums over who has the best duck in its archives and in February the tweets in its thread of updates about a lost bat in its rare book store were liked more than 25,000 times. The bat became so popular online that it was even awarded its own university library card.

Watch out

In his Medium post, Adam had called the sheep-related Elon Musk interaction "a weird one-off, a ripple from our absolute unit of last year."

But were the memes and banter a "shear" piece of genius?

The reaction to Adam's career move has been, as expected, congratulatory and jovial with a common theme around him now living the "electric" dream and "absolute units."

The phrase "absolute unit" - internet jargon for a large, muscular person or thing - has now been cemented in internet history as a big, big, sheep.

As well as the expected congratulations, he's been told to watch out when it comes to getting his tweets past the lawyers.

Mr Musk's own tweets have often proved controversial with one tweet about taking Tesla private resulting in him losing his job as chairman, while another has led to a defamation case.

And earlier this week an analyst from financial firm Wedbush said Tesla should be focusing on producing more Model 3 cars, instead of expanding into robotaxis and "other sci-fi projects".

The BBC has contacted Adam, Tesla and Elon Musk for comment. We will keep 'ewe' updated.