“We want to build the cars that end up on posters on children’s walls. We want them to dream of owning our cars, because even if they don’t end up in a position where they can buy one, it’s that dream that gives a brand desirability and authenticity.”

Those paraphrased words have been uttered to me by many a supercar manufacturer over the years, and it explains why the likes of Aston Martin, Bugatti, Ferrari, Lamborghini and McLaren go to such lengths to have their cars photographed in exotic locations, and do deals to have their cars on the cover of computer game packaging or launch ranges of baby clothing or teddy bears emblazoned with their logos. 

Sure, often it’s about making money there and then – that’s the beauty of running such powerful brands – but there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that all of these deals are also focused on the long-term benefits of capturing hearts and minds.

Having a young, car-loving son of my own, I’ve had a few glimpses into how this works. He’s always been obsessed by the Bugatti Veyron, by the simple idea of it being the fastest road car ever built. That sort of thing captures young minds like nothing else, it seems, and consequently he has a model Veyron, a Veyron poster and watches a lot of Veyron videos.