Amarok turns test drives into upliftment
THE Volkswagen Amarok Social Test Drive harnesses the goodwill of South Africans with routine test drives to deliver books to rural schools.
Volkswagen’s Tarryn Knight says the world- first idea “cleverly connects our need to demonstrate the heavy work that the Amarok is capable of doing offroad and our country’s need to deliver supplies to inaccessible places.
“Most trials of our one- ton pick- up take place in a tarred urban environment while there are thousands of organisations and communities which are in desperate need of a pick- up to make urgently needed deliveries”.
Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town’s Nicholas Wittenberg says the challenge was to find a way to connect the drivers with the deliveries.
“We began on a small scale by using social media sourced entries for a digitally- based competition to find five Social Test Drivers for a predetermined cause”.
This resulted in 6 000 text books being delivered to a school in Kwa- Zulu Natal, 10 sewing machines and 423 meters of fabric going to the Eastern Cape, 10 boxes of stationery and a further 41 boxes of books being delivered to schools in KwaZulu- Natal and 35 boxes of cat food and 12 boxes of dog food being delivered to animal shelters in the Western Cape.
Nicholas Wittenberg says the initial programme demonstrated the viability and the appetite for the concept and “we now have a massive vision for it as the dealerships are starting to connect with local organisations that they can support on a regular basis with every Amarok test drive”.
Amarok Social Test Drives are also being deployed to meet immediate crises. Operation Hydrate approached Volkswagen to deliver four, one- ton loads of fresh water bottles to Senekal in the rural Free State in the midst of the worst drought the area has seen in decades.
Tarryn Knight says the upsi- des for the Amarok dealerships are clear; “they contribute to their communities, give potential buyers a true test of the vehicles capabilities and leave those potential buyers feeling like they’ve made a meaningful difference in the lives of others.
“That is what Amarok and the Volkswagen brand are all about”.
Nicholas Wittenberg believes the power of the idea lies in its scalability; “there’s no reason why every Amarok Dealer around the globe can’t do this quickly and easily which means there is a huge upside for ‘ delivering’ social goods”.
To participate, visit www.socialtestdrive.co.za
An Amarok on a typical route in rural South Africa, delivering much appreciated supplies as part of a unique test drive programme.