Today I'll be breaking down a well-known ad from one of the true titans of direct response marketing, David Ogilvy - a true advertising celebrity of his time!
If you've ever seen the blockbuster series "Mad Men"...
You might have heard that Don Draper's character was essentially modeled after David Ogilvy... (minus the troubled love life)
What most people DON'T know is that Don Draper's character was modeled after another advertising superstar, Draper Daniels, from the Leo Burnett agency!
(this info was confirmed by both the show's producers as well as Drayton Bird, a long-time confidant of David Ogilvy)
In any case, Ogilvy was a big deal.
It's no wonder that his “Rolls Royce” ad is pretty well-known in the copywriting world...
However, not many people know WHY it actually works.
So here's my take on the secret behind its success…
In just 361 words, he created magic…
That started a $300k per DAY company!
Now, let’s dive deeper into today’s promotion.
Prefer video instead? Watch Below!
The Best Car In The World?
“At 60 miles an hour, the loudest noise in this new Rolls Royce comes from the electric clock”.
David Ogilvy wrote this ad in 1958. He read about the car for three weeks and found an obscure little detail in the technical manual.
To cut through the noise in the market, he came up with a headline that conveys the unique selling proposition immediately.
So, what makes this headline super effective? It immediately hints at a technological breakthrough that will get you to experience something new and unique.
Then, he goes on to convey why Rolls Royce is the “best car in the world”.
David Ogilvy invites the readers to explore more about the sophisticated details and how the ride is a unique experience.
The promotion doubled the sales in a short period. It was based on the core desires of the rich - peace and harmony.
The entire promotion is built upon a list of features and benefits around the same values.
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What’s The Big Idea?
The ad starts with a “philosophical” question that engages the readers: “What makes Rolls Royce the best car in the world?”
Notice how the entire promotion is based on 1 big idea: attention to detail and comfort.
The subsequent bullets provide technical details on the same arguments.
As we know, people buy on emotions and justify with logic.
So, David Ogilvy convinces people rationally by demonstrating how the new design makes it easier to park, especially for women.
It is test-driven for hundreds of miles over varying road surfaces. With power brakes and an automatic gear shift, it is easier to drive and park.
The ad was written in 1959 when cars were super loud so, the promotion revolves around the core values of safety, comfort, and prestige.
David builds credibility by emphasizing meticulous attention to detail. With numerous quality-control tests and a three-year guarantee, the car offers the top possible experience.
How David Ogilvy Illustrates The Beautiful Combination Of Safety And Prestige
The upcoming bullets show that Rolls Royce is “a very safe and lively car” whose top speed is over 100 m.p.h.
Then David goes on to the technical details to show that you can adjust the shock absorbers as per the road conditions.
There are optional extras like an Espresso coffee machine, picnic tables, a bed, water for washing, an electric razor, and a telephone.
To emphasize safety, David Ogilvy shares that there are three separate systems for power brakes so that damage to one of them doesn’t affect others.
Using multiple fascinations, the copywriter focuses on the sophistication and technical details that ensure an incredibly safe and enjoyable ride.
Attention to detail is emphasized several times throughout the ad.
Fascinations are great for building desire and that is why the entire promotion comprises of bullets that are easy to scan.
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