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Rolls Royce Moment

Rolls Royce Moment

What is the Rolls Royce Moment story tactic?

"Cruising at 60mph, the loudest noise inside the Rolls Royce comes from the electric clock.".

Rolls Royce ran an advert with this headline in a US magazine in 1960. Next year, Ford spent millions on an ad campaign promising cars "as quiet as a Rolls Royce." In 1980, my dad told me the Rolls Royce story-and I still remember it today. Why was this ad so memorable and how can your story have a Rolls Royce moment?

Try this tactic alongside Data Detectives to bring your research to life.

How to use the Rolls Royce Moment story tactic

David Ogilvy, the British advertising genius, wrote the ticking clock headline for Rolls Royce after spending days trawling through engineers' reports. His lesson for storytellers: do your homework. Here's why the advert worked:

  1. It's a vivid moment. In just a few words, Ogilvy gave us a rich, sensory movie we could play in our heads.

    • What's the vivid moment you can describe, something we can hear, see, taste, smell or feel?

  2. It's exemplary. This one small moment stands for the whole. It tells us that Rolls is a precision engineering company that pays attention to details.

    • What's the single fact or detail that tells us everything we need to know about your product?

  3. It's widely relatable. I've never driven in a Rolls, but I can tell you my Talbot Horizon (1992-1994) made a hell of a racket cruising at 60mph. So I can imagine how good Rolls Royce quality feels.

    • How can you make your Rolls Royce moment relatable to something your audience will understand?

Tip: Secrets and Puzzles make great Rolls Royce moments.

Credit: David Oglivy, 1983.

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