Case study: Rolls-Royce at the Saatchi Gallery

Imagination created a design-led multi-sensory experience for automotive brand Rolls-Royce at the Saatchi Gallery in London in November.

Imagination created the Rolls-Royce experiential exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery, London
Imagination created the Rolls-Royce experiential exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery, London


For the luxury automotive brand, agency Imagination was hired to create 'Inside Rolls-Royce' - a series of free exhibitions that would immerse the audience in the brand through personal interaction.

Steve Lidbury, Imagination's European creative director of automotive, says the experience had to be a fully multi-sensory experience. "Visitors needed to go through a narrative-driven physical, virtual and digital journey of engineering, design and craftsmanship, where they could touch, taste, smell, hear and feel the brand."

The experience was created in response to a Channel 4 documentary that went behind the scenes of the brand at its Goodwood manufacturing facility. Torsten Muller-Otvos, chief executive officer at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, says it was only right that people who have supported the brand had the opportunity to gain free access to it through a live experience.


Actress Sienna Miller was among the VIP guests who attended the launch event, while Grammy Award-winning American jazz vocalist Gregory Porter was keen to support the cause by performing to attendees on the night. The launch event gained widespread media coverage, including features in the Daily Telegraph. This will inevitably help the exhibition gain momentum to be successful in its other international destinations, which include Berlin, Dubai, Shanghai and Los Angeles.


The exhibition was launched on 12 November at the Saatchi Gallery in London, ahead of its four-day run in the capital (13-16 November). It featured nine rooms, each focusing on a key aspect in the creation of a Rolls-Royce vehicle.

The brand's palette of 44,000 paint colours was brought to life as guests selected an item of their choice, placed it on an activation table and watched the room change hue to match. The brand's emblem - 'The Spirit of Ecstasy' - was evoked in an installation consisting of eight umbrellas flying the length of the room until the last one slotted into the door of a Rolls-Royce Ghost vehicle.

Another room, inspired by the Rolls-Royce Wraith's starring role in computer game Forza Motorsport 5, gave attendees a chance to configure their own version of the vehicle virtually. They could also transform themselves into the brand's Spirit of Ecstasy icon, captured via light particle animation and a video wall.

On Reflection

"It's fitting for us to celebrate the artistry of Rolls-Royce. We are purveyors of luxury artefacts and believe the artistic content of our cars and design is at the foremost level."

Giles Taylor, director of design, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars