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Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles challenged Australians to pick the Naked Ute in mass media campaign

No exterior panels. No soft-touch plastics. No clever infotainment systems. Not even a shred of fabric or cushioning on the seats. There’s not a lot left on the skeletal frame of the Naked Ute, bar what matters most.

As part of a multi-platform marketing campaign, encapsulating television, digital and print media, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Australia stripped back its award-winning Amarok ute to the bare bones: exposing its tough, reinforced and extensively engineered chassis, free from badges and class-leading Volkswagen design features.

The Naked Ute was then assessed by some of its toughest critics: working ute owners from rural Australia. This ‘blind’ road test saw the Naked Ute driven in a range of off-road environments, designed to test the core strength of the Naked Ute. At the end of the test, the Naked Ute’s pilots were all impressed by its strength and composure; but still stumped as to what model the Naked Ute was. That is, until this week.

The campaign started with a week-long tease period with a stripped-back ‘Naked Ute’ featuring in a 15” TVC that called on the public to ‘Guess the Naked Ute’. This was supported by a promoted social campaign that had separate content where viewers were introduced to four Aussie ute lovers who put the Naked Ute through its gruelling paces. New content was rolled out each day driving traffic to to vote or view more content. 

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Marketing Manager, Ralph Beckmann, commented, “We wanted to really challenge some of the myths and misconceptions around Amarok and develop a disruptive campaign to bring this to life.”

“We believed many couldn’t see beyond the Volkswagen badge and the good looking exterior. So we decided to take it away and the response has been phenomenal. In our first week alone, the engagement far exceeded our expectations and it also showed us that a lot of people know their Amaroks down to bolts, suspension, stance and even the shape of the rear window,” Beckmann said.

The response to the Naked Ute has been extraordinary: in the first week of the campaign, it has received over 1.7 million views on Facebook and over 800,000 views on Youtube.