Quick advertising history lesson.
The ad below is widely considered one of the most famous long copy print ads of all time. At least in advertising circles it is. Written by David Ogilvy, this was when people actually read copy and copywriters were afforded the time to write persuasive and informative copy worth reading. Maybe the ad and the copy are so great because they didn’t need it yesterday.
David Ogilvy actually spent three weeks reading about the car, interviewing engineers, Rolls Royce owners and driving the product before writing the ad. So, how did anyone know that the copy was read??? He got countless letters for using the word “diffident” in section 13. So that’s the original from 1959.
Fast forward to June, 1982. Out came the ad below which gave the target audience the brilliant emotional benefit of Rolls Royce ownership. I remember this appearing as a spread in the New York Times magazine. It redoubled my efforts to become a copywriter.
Truly a wonderful variation on the original. And so is the copy.
Then this morning I see this web ad for the new BMW i3 electric car.
I think it’s a great ad for an electric car. I bet the BMW client did too. The problem is I liked this headline the first time I saw it. Thirty two years ago.
What’s your take? Imitation? Inspiration? Or a fluke?