I remember seeing my first Rolls Royce as a youth in Superior, Wisconsin. I was down-town riding in our families Rambler stationwagon when my father pointed it out to me. He said that it was Morgan Murphy's car and was hand-made and very expensive. Except for the grill and hood ornament the car didn't look that special to me.
More than 50 years later, I spend winters in Thailand and have been able to attend numerous Motor Shows and have seen many exotic and expensive cars. Rolls Royce even has a show room in one of the downtown Bangkok Malls. It was quite devoid of customers so my brother-in-law and I went in to take a look. The price on the showroom model was 41 million Thai Baht or $1.2 million (I don't know if this includes taxes and delivery fees or not). Lets just say it is still very expensive.
Above is a view of the cars interior: first class materials but the design is a bit antiquated... Draw your own conclusions.
So how do you a promote an expensive but conservatively designed automobile? With models or pretties as they call them here in Thailand. It is a formula that has been used around the globe to promote everything automotive and everything in general. As they say "Sex Sells".
And that is what started me to thinking: Who would ever believe that these beautiful Thai models would have any connection to Rolls Royce other than a working model relationship with the car dealer? Why are these models dressed as they are and not in formal elegant attire? Are they posing as Holly Wood type starlets? Could these models afford a Rolls? What kind of reality does this represent?
Questions, questions, questions....
A vision of reality only seen at Motor Shows and in daydreams. Wonder what the model is thinking? (How long till I am done for the day? I'm tired. I'm cold, when can I get out of these skimpy clothes? How do I look? Will this be my big break?)
What is this model thinking? (This fender is hard to sit on? Should I have put on more makeup? How is my posture? Do my socks match my outfit? Is my hat stupid?)
The final image of a model who took extra time to pose, what is she thinking? (Do I look sexy enough? How much cleavage should I show? Will these images improve my portfolio, Who is that old guy taking pictures of me?)
So many questions and so many answers depending on one's perspective.
Will I ever buy a Rolls, even if I could afford it? No. But maybe a Maserati or a Lamborghini. The Maserati shop in the Mall says they accept Master Card (I wonder if they check the spending limits).
Are these images and their messages true or just illusionary? In fact they are just a dream designed to sell cars. It is telling that an old established company like Rolls Royce is taking this approach, but I guess they need to sell cars, models need to work, and we all need a daydream or two...
If he were alive, I wonder what Morgan Murphy (newspaper publisher) would think of all of this???