Magazine article Marketing

Blurring Visions of Reality Makes Life Interesting

Magazine article Marketing

Blurring Visions of Reality Makes Life Interesting

Article excerpt

Forgive my nostalgia (or is it self-indulgence?) but I was reminded vividly of the lasting power of PR when I collected my Bentley the other day. Adorned in a new dress (total respray) to celebrate her 25th birthday (born: 1969) my thoughts turned to an ancient copyline penned by the fabled David Ogilvy for the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost. It read: "At 60mph the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock."

Now, as a driver of one in the 60s, I can tell you something. It isn't true. Tyre thump, wind noise and wallowing on corners like a soft banana were my lasting recollections, assuming, of course, that I wasn't using the stereo to turn the leather and walnut cabin into a passable impression of the Royal Albert Hall.

Clock ticking? Forget it. And yet, that copyline has contributed to the Rolls/Bentley imagery as "the best car in the world".

(And how often do you still hear products being described as the Rolls-Royce of its type . . . ?)

So although Mercedes, Jaguar, Lexus and BMW are probably quieter and more technologically advanced than the Rolls-Royce, it is that marque that still carries the imprimatur of envy across the globe. Mustn't it rank as the most successful PR myth of all time?

No, not necessarily -- because perception and reality are so entwined. As I rather pompously pointed out in my tome The PR Business, "there is no such thing as reality", because we often see the same things (product, company) in different ways: it depends on our viewpoint as to which reality we see. …

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