Lavanya Selvaraj's Blog

Rolls Royce – Advertising Strategy

Posted on: October 14, 2011

What makes Rolls-Royce the best car in the world? “There is really no magic about it – it is merely patient attention to detail,” says an eminent Rolls-Royce engineer.

Rolls Royce ad is one of the most well known ads in the history of advertising from the legend of advertising, David Ogilvy. David Ogilvy’s Roll Royce advertisement shows copywriters that the best ideas are often found in the product itself.


At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock.

( This is referred to as the most famous headline in advertising history)

Some of the 13 Features Noted in The Rolls Royce Ad

  1. “At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise comes from the electric clock” reports the Technical Editor of THE MOTOR. Three mufflers tune out sound frequencies – acoustically.
  2. The car has power-steering, power brakes and automatic gear-shift. It is very easy to drive and to park, No chauffeur required.
  3. The finished car spends a week in the final test-shop, being fine-tuned. Here it is subjected to 98 separate ordeals. For example, the engineers use a stethoscope to listen for axle-whine.
  4. The Rolls-Royce radiator has never changed, except that when Sir Henry Royce died in 1933 the monogram RR was changed from red to black.
  5. By moving a switch on the steering column, you can adjust the shock-absorbers to suit road conditions.
  6. A picnic table, veneered in French walnut, slides out from under the dash. Two more swing out behind the front seats.
  7. You can get such optional extras as an Espresso coffee-making machine, a dictating machine, a bed, hot and cold water for washing, an electric razor or a telephone.”

The rest of the points include other features of the car as well as the price.

Notice how every question in the consumer’s mind has been thought of and answered in this ad. This is, in fact, a direct response ad since it seeks a response. David Ogilvy’s “first love” was direct response and he believed that every copywriter should have a firm grounding in this form of advertising.

Why? Because copywriters learn to think and write through the minds of their readers. They must find out as much as they can about them. Their lifestyle, their likes and dislikes, what they look for in products, etc. Besides, the challenge of eliciting response sharpens up a copywriter’s skills.

Analysing Ogilvy’s Rolls Royce Ad

The quaint fact that the engineers use a stethoscope to listen for axle-whine could have given a copywriter another headline – “Even a stethoscope cannot hear it whine.”

And there’s the interesting information about the monogram RR being changed from red to black at he death of Sir Henry Royce. Yes, this fact would leap out for a writer, but it cannot really be turned into a headline that would make promises of comfort, convenience and luxury to the reader.

The impressive fact that the shock absorbers can be adjusted to suit road conditions could be material for another headline. It’s not something one hears about in a car. It would be a great boon for rural road conditions! Maybe a headline that says: “Drive it wherever you like.”

Also, there are the picnic tables and optional extras like the coffee making and dictating machines, bed, hot and cold water, telephone and electric razor. Now that’s luxury. A headline could speak of being ready to work, or snug in bed no matter where the driver is. Very appealing to a traveling businessman.

This is just why knowing more about the reader is so important. Is it luxury he’s looking for this time, or being able to work while traveling, or is it the smooth silence of the ride?

Copywriters Can Reach the Right Audience Through the Price

The body copy gives the reader the less conspicuous option of a Bentley almost identical in quality to the Rolls. It makes no bones about the price of the Rolls.

Stating the price ensures that writers don’t attract the wrong type of consumer. They get the ones who have the money. The ad ends with the action required – the call to buy and how to do so.

Although this ad ran only in two newspapers and a couple of magazines, it was a huge hit. It answered all the questions in the consumer’s mind. And it was selling a product known for its quality. It became so famous that the following year Ford based their multimillion dollar campaign on the claim that their car was even quieter than a Rolls.

Great Ads Require a Lot of Homework

David Ogilvy in “Ogilvy on Advertising” says that he did his “homework” in order to write this ad, tedious as it was – three weeks of reading about this car (copywriters rarely have that luxury anymore). The headline itself was a quotation from an article published 20 years before.



2 Responses to "Rolls Royce – Advertising Strategy"

If Konrad Fernandez c this he will be happy…..

The most interesting information, which I got inspired in the training, was about Rolls Royce advertisement……..That’s y posted brother……….

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