VW Amarok

Category: Consumer Durables
Agency: DDB
Client: Volkswagen


The 'people's car' is hard to justify when many New Zealanders think you do not have a car for them.

To crack the New Zealand market, Volkswagen had to break into the most Kiwi of all car categories, the ute. Coming from a zero base, without a brand image built on outdoor ruggedness the challenge seemed insurmountable.

However, by finding a fresh connection with the core audience, the VW Amarok is now a credible contender with year one market share of 4.7% and unit sales of 688 worth $36 million.

Key learnings

The VW Amarok would not compare well with competitor utes if potential buyers evaluated it on the conventional criteria of the category.

Therefore, the team at DDB had to introduce some fresh rules that New Zealand ute buyers could use to weigh up their choices. The intention was to leapfrog the other players by standing for something they never could and in doing so 'de-position' the well established competition as out dated, ordinary and a somewhat unimaginative choice.