Ego A Driving Factor In Car Purchases

It seems those crazy kids in Coconut Grove are inventing new ways to sell VWs on a daily basis. The new tool in the automaker’s belt is a co-creation site called Ego Index, where consumers rate cars and everyday items for the ego they emit. For instance, anchovies, came in at 50, which is a neutral rating on a 1-to-100 scale. Apparently, anchovies emit no ego.
Here’s how a CP+B copywriter describes the concept:

Each and every one of us deals with ego emissions every single day. Because nearly everything we do, say, use, touch or see – emits ego. A pair of jeans emits ego. So does a mohawk. Saying “‘sup dawg?” emits ego. As does the color white. The city of Wichita. And the vegetable known as “asparagus.” But who’s to say how much ego these items emit? We will figure it out together. Through this web site we will democratically determine the ego-emissions index for almost everything.

[via Random Culture]

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. theo kie says:

    To which I respond, do I really care?
    So much of this online stuff seems made for people with nothing to do in their lives. Is the whole point of the site even on strategy? If the audience is older, more established professionals who don’t care about ego – as the spots suggest – are they going to waste time on a site dedicated to rating egos? The point of the campaign is that Passat owners are beyond that.
    Returning to my earlier point…who cares?

  2. I hear you on the relevance factor, but I do think the site is a nice way to say VW is an egoless car. That VW buyers are beyond that, which of course is an egotistical pose. Anyway, I like that VW is having fun with their brand and letting the Coconuts do their stuff.

  3. Here’s something to ponder: What would be the ego emissions of the cars those modest, self-effacing folks at Crispin drive?
    What, for that matter, would be the ego emission of the agency itself?
    Yea verily, the very air abounds in irony.

  4. theo kie says:

    Whatever happened to the smart work CPB used to do? There was subtlety, intelligence, a sense of style and even beauty in some of the early campaigns that brought them notice. It seems with every business win, the agency’s work becomes more and more one-dimensional.

  5. What are the ego emissions for people who go after Crispin, still regarded as one of the best shops in the world, just to boost their own egos.

  6. theo kie says:

    Oh, Jay. Just so you won’t worry, my ego is most definitely in check. I simply think CPB is better than the single-minded, simple-minded style I’ve seen of late.
    As for the shop’s ego-emissions, they thrive on ego. It’s something they celebrate – at least, that’s what some friends inside tell me. Just part of what makes them who they are.
    As for being one of the best shops in the world? I don’t think they are there quite yet. A shop must maintain quality and do so in a variety of ways over the long term to earn such a place in the industry. Thus…my original point. I miss the breadth of ideas, style and tone that once emerged from the shop.

  7. “is the whole point of the site even on strategy?”
    give me a break theo.

  8. theo kie says:

    So, Bill. Are you saying web sites aren’t supposed to have a strategy that aligns with the positioning of the product?
    I keep forgetting websites are just supposed to be “cool” – whether that’s relevant to the target audience or not. Talk about a good spending of client dollars – talking to people who won’t buy your product.

  9. Mom always said, “If you don’t have anything nice to say…” You know the rest.
    I just get weary of the Crispin-bashing that seems to rack up the comments portion of a blog entry wrapped around a shop. People get tired of hearing of the agency, but yet continue to talk about them.
    Hey, what’s going on at Mother? How about Creature? ANyone know what 86 the Onions has going on? Lots of noise outside of Miami. Let’s see what’s happening with the up and comers.
    Sorry to wave pom-poms, but then again…I’m not.

  10. Carl LaFong says:

    All due respect, Jay, but any “bashing” of Crispin on blogs is far outweighed by the adulation of acolytes — not to mention the unseemly butt-kissing of the trade press.
    Yes, there are those who dump on them out of envy, egotism or other, less worthy emotions. But there are also some very legitimate criticisms that are raised. Should those be banned simply because their opinions differ from your own?
    I think most of us would agree that Crispin is indeed one of the hottest shops on the face of the planet. (Sorry, Theo.) But does that mean they are above criticism? They should be held to the same standard as anyone else.
    If Crispin seems to provoke a disproportionate amount of responses — both pro and con — that’s probably because they tend to be written about more than other agencies. You’re right to point out that the spotlight should be shone a little more freely on up and coming agencies. But the press and most bloggers are too lazy to look beyond their comfort zone. They are slaves to conventional wisdom.

  11. Which is why I’m thrilled whenever David does his “Agencies You Never Heard Of Series”. He’s found some delightful gems that are not immersed in the limelight 24/7. I encourage all bloggers, and the media for that matter, to chat about these shops and other trends/work/idea/whatever about our industry. I also discourage all viewers to jump off Starship Crispin.
    Me included.
    Starting now.

  12. theo kie says:

    All good points, folks (which is why I so prefer Ernie’s spot to many others). One quick not per my question of whether CPB is one of the best shops in the world.
    I would entirely agree they’re one of today’s “hottest” shops. I’m just waiting to see if they’re great. Numerous shops have hung the moon for a few years then faded from view for one reason or another (greed, infighting, talent changes, demands of larger clients, or the fickle, changing tastes of the public).
    Their latest work seems of a similar flavor. To me, that’s a sign of a shop’s abilities narrowing, rather than broadening. Don’t mean to be hatin’, just observing.