Four Lessons From a Famous Rolls-Royce Advert to Improve Your Writing

Write more persuasively and increase engagement

Victor Mong
4 min readSep 17, 2021


Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash

More than four decades after advertising guru David Ogilvy wrote one of the most persuasive ad copy for Rolls-Royce, it has remained a reference for writers.

Ogilvy’s successful advertising campaigns demonstrate how to persuade prospects, influence readers, and create memorable, evergreen content.

Here are few timeless lessons writers can learn from the ad to improve the quality of their work.

Lead With A Big Idea

The best articles have one big idea communicated in the headline. Your big idea tells the reader what’s special about the article.

Here’s the headline Ogilvy wrote for Rolls-Royce:

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

The big idea this headline communicates is that Rolls-Royce gives you a driving experience you can’t get from any other car. It communicates a sense of luxury.

Before you can come up with a big idea for your article, you need to first understand who your target reader is: what problem/challenge are they facing? What is their background? What are their dreams and fears?

Ogilvy knew Rolls-Royce targeted high net worth individuals and so he wrote an ad copy that communicated luxury. In the same way, you can get more people to read your article by leading with a big idea that targets particular demography of readers.

David Ogilvy’s famous Rolls-Royce copy via Guy Kingsley-Smith

Communicate Your Article’s Real Benefits

The best ad copies don’t just reel out the features of a product. Instead, they translate the features into tangible benefits a customer will get from buying the product. In other words, what influences a buyer’s purchase decision isn’t what features a product has, it’s how those features help them solve the problem they have.



Victor Mong

15x Top Writer // I research and write science-based advice on life, productivity & health //