Elemental Thinking: #14 Rolls-Royce/David Ogilvy
This Rolls-Royce print ad from the 1960's was created by David Ogilvy. It is one of the most famous advertisements in history.
"At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock."
That's the headline. It taught all copywriters that the best ad ideas could be derived from the product itself. Ogilvy's idea behind this ad was to place Rolls-Royce in its proper market. He didn't have to try to be overly creative, nor did he do much research on the campaign. He used the technical editorial of an auto magazine to develop the idea.
Ogilivy wrote long copy. His favorite form of advertising was Direct Response, and that's precisely what this ad call for. It was phenomenally successful, despite the steep price-tag of the product.
Other features noted in the ad:
• The car has power steering, power brakes, automatic gear shift, three mufflers to tune out sound.
• It is very easy to drive and park. No chauffeur required.
• By moving a switch on the steering column, you can adjust the shock-absorbers to suit road conditions.
And on and on. There is a famous old chestnut in the ad business that consumers "don't read the copy." But that isn't always true; and it shouldn't be. Ogilvy was famous for his long copy. He knew that if he could answer questions in the consumer's mind, then the ad would be far more successful. And more product would be sold. The ad ends with the action required – the call to buy and how to do so.
David Ogilvy was a genius who relied on Elemental Thinking to create legendary advertising.
As an aside: Don Draper, the character in the TV series MadMen, is based on David Ogilvy.