Boring Branding Goes Badly After Rolls-Royce Overlooks Seat Belts

Recently, Rolls-Royce had recording artist Skepta get in the back of a Phantom and record a song for a promotional video. It was meant to show how silent the car is—enough to be used as a recording studio—but it seems to also be so quiet that no one could hear their common sense telling them to put on a seat belt.


Because Rolls-Royce is the epitome of on-the-record pretentiousness (which, sure, is somewhat warranted when your cars cost more than most houses), its press release on the video said Skepta was “inspired by the phenomenal serenity afforded to those who are conveyed in Phantom.” Thus, he recorded the song “Skepta RR” while being “chauffeured along the banks of Lake Lucerne and through the mountains of Switzerland.”

That’s not obvious branding at all!

Anyway, the people who weren’t too bored by the fact that most of the video didn’t show Skepta recording a song like he said he was going to do managed to notice that neither he nor the person with him were wearing seatbelts. (They spent most of their unbuckled car ride talking about snow and how the scenery affected the beat they were making. Vocals would have been cooler.)

The video is no longer on the Rolls-Royce YouTube account, but the release is still up and copies are still on various YouTube accounts:

Rolls heard from several road-safety organizations about the video, and Skepta tweeted a picture of a buckled seatbelt with a lightbulb emoji last Friday. Here’s more on just how bad of an oversight it was from Metro, which quoted different safety advocates as saying Skepta “should listen to his own song ‘It Ain’t Safe’” and Rolls should “be setting a much better example” than this:

The Highway Code states that all passengers – including those sitting in the rear – must wear a seatbelt at all times, which caused road safety campaigners to react with shock that the luxury car brand released the video, which was filmed in Switzerland.

Under Swiss law, it is the law for all passengers to wear a seatbelt and police officers can issue and collect on-the-spot fines of up to 200 Swiss francs (£150).

In what might or might not have been a hilarious coincidence, Rolls published a press release Tuesday announcing a new partnership to promote road safety.

Staff writer, Jalopnik


Chris Glenn

I hate seat belt laws. Sure, in my state you can ride a motorcycle without a helmet, but don’t you dare leave without your seat belt.

(disclaimer: unless we are talking about children. They should always be protected under the law.)