Making The Most Iconic Luxury Car Ad Of All Time

My university teachers talked about this ad, online gurus reference it. It is one of the all time greats. However, the best thing about it is that you can use the same principles in your TikTok ad today and completely crush it.

You might think “this ad is good because it is so creative.” 

The way to make a great ad is made didn’t change for a 100 years.

However, it is not creativity that gave birth to this ad. It doesn’t require genius, or luck, or in fact tons thousands of hours of marketing training.

What made this ad great was proper research. Ogilvy was/is an advertising agency working for the biggest brands. When Rolls Royce paid them a lot of money to come up with an ad, they didn’t sit down to be creative. They sent a team of people to research everything about the car. They would fly people to the UK to visit the Rolls Royce factory and take notes about everything.


Then, they would talk to the Rolls Royce customers. They would ask things like:

Ogilvy would also read expert reviews of the car. He would try to experience the car himself. In this case has actually bought one.

Doing this makes it almost impossible to create a bad ad

After all the research is done it is not that difficult to come up with something pretty good.

Maybe a customer says: ”Well, to me what separates a luxury car from ordinary cars is the quietness at speed.” Imagine having to travel far by car often and being overloaded with things to do. The last thing you want is to get out of work, completely drained and then be in a car that shakes over every bump and is too noisy. You want to sit down and relax or to be able to talk without raising your voice, or to calmly continue working.

When you learn something like this as an advertiser, you can say something like

“This new Rolls Royce is the quietest car in the world.”

That is not that bad, however it is difficult to imagine something exact when you read it.

It is quieter than my Ford Fiesta but what does that really mean?

If you want to make the ad better, start using the product and try to come up with a better way to convey the feeling. When Ogilvy (or actually someone else, more on that later )was driving the car around, focusing on the quietness, they realized that the loudest noise comes from the clock, even on the highway.


Once you realize something like that, you just have to be able to realize that it is good for an ad. 

The best ads always do the same thing

An ad is supposed to paint a vivid picture in the minds of the people who read it. Saying the loudest noise comes the clock is something everyone can imagine. Or could imagine at the time the ad came out, since we don’t have electric clocks ticking around our houses anymore.

Everyone who read the headline had a specific image in mind. They knew exactly how quiet the car must be, they were able to vividly imagine it.


It is not so much about creativity, it is just a lot of research. Research and then testing.

Here is proof that Ogilvy didn’t even really come up with the headline

In the case of this famous headline, if you start reading the body of the ad you realize it was not even Ogilvy that came up with it. The ad in the body says „at 60 mph the loudest noise comes from its electric clock“ – reports the technical editor of „The Motor” so Ogilvy didn’t even really come up with the idea, they just did their research and were able to recognize when they struck gold.

When you dive into the rest of the ad it just shows that it is all about research.

It goes like this: Powerful relevant claim followed by evidence.

After the claim about the car being so quiet, the ad gives an evidence to how is it possible that it is so quiet. It talks about three mufflers to make it quiet. 

This simple rule makes people believe you

There is a simple rule you can follow when making your ads and landing pages. Everytime you make a claim like “This new procedure gives you a visible reduction in cellulite in the first session” you have to continue and provide some evidence to why is that possible. Maybe there is some new technology, maybe it is a different use of a already known technology. The key is to always provide evidence to support your claims. Video ads are great if you are promoting water proof tenis shoes, just show yourself stepping into the water in them and then show that your foot remained dry. Claims without any support will make you look like a liar.

Next point in the ad focuses on the perception of quality. You might say “the car is very reliable” which is just an empty claim that no one is really going to believe, or you can use your research and say what Ogilvy said “every rolls Royce engine runs for seven hours at full throttle before installation, and each car is driven for hundreds of miles over varying road surfaces” That gives you an idea that, yes, when you get the car, it is going to be perfect, you won’t have to go back to the dealership the next day because of some silly issue.

YouTube is full of videos of people buying luxury cars and having to go back to the dealership because of some silly issue. Once you know that is often the case you can start imagining how learning about this rigorous testing might sound appealing. Imagine buying a car that costs as much as a house just to immediately have an issue with it. Nobody wants to feel like they made a stupid decision. 

When Ogilvy did their research maybe they discovered that the customers had quality and reliability issues with other cars in the past.

Reading the ad, another thing that the research probably shown was that the customers at the time were tired of their cars being difficult to drive, partially because they were too big. 

Armed with that information, the ad addresses that next and talks about how the Rolls Royce is shorter than the largest domestic competing cars.

After that, you have more talk about quality control. For example, “one of the 98 checks includes an engineer using a stethoscope to listen for axle whine.”

Then, you continue addressing the dealership network which probably was a worry for some potential customers. Then, it continues on how the car gets five coats of primer, it is rubbed between each coat and then it gets nine coats of finishing paint.

How do you think they came up with that copy? Was it the creativity, or the factory visit?

Most likely when they asked their customers “What makes a car luxurious?” They responded, silence, but also they responded “great paint”. Armed with that information they looked for what they found out about the pain during their factory visit.

Being “creative” you would probably say “You can get the car in a selection of beautiful colors” 

Putting your marketing together based on a research you will write what Ogilvy did. “Five coats, hand rubbing in between each coat and then nine more finishing coats”

Again just like with muffler mention to make people believe that car is quiet, here Ogilvy used evidence to convince people the paint is going to be really high quality.  

Making your ad “go viral”

It also gives people a talking point. Imagine reading “this car has a great paint” is an empty promise. Are you going to tell your friends “I have seen a Rolls Royce ad and it said the cars have great paint!”

No one is going to say that.

Are you going to say “Did you know Rolls Royce has 14 coats of paint and they are all polished inbetween?”


Giving “share worthy” information in your ad again depends on the level of research you do.

Ogilvy probably found out the the quietness is more valued and more impressive than the paint, so the paint is talked about in the body, the quietness takes the headline. Try to read through the rest of the ad yourself and you will see how the rest follows the same principles and comes from research. 

Every ad needs this part

The ad is of course finished up with a call to action to get a test drive. This ad might be old, but the process of coming up with a facebook ad and writing a landing page nowadays is very similar. If you want something good, you do a lot of research and then just put it together. 

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