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LongHorn Steakhouse lets iPhone users sink teeth into 3D application

Casual dining chain LongHorn Steakhouse is taking its new "Discover the West in You" ad campaign mobile, with the launch of its first-ever Apple iPhone stereoscopic 3D application.

LongHorn Steakhouse tapped its agency partner Grey New York for the design and execution of the application. Grey New York also created the TV ad campaign for LongHorn using animated illustrations to link the brand to the values of the American West.

"Our strategy for the LongHorn Steak app was to leverage the iPhone user base of 30 million to create some positive brand engagement," said Terry Stanley, executive vice president of marketing at LongHorn Steakhouse, Orlando, FL.

"IPhone users are passionate about novel applications and often share and influence their friends" he said. "This is part of our overall desire to test and learn our way into emerging ways to reach our consumers."

More than 25 years after opening its first restaurant in Atlanta, LongHorn Steakhouse operates more than 300 restaurants in 30 states.

WPP's Grey Group is a global communications company. Grey New York's client roster includes Procter & Gamble, GlaxoSmithKline, Diageo, Darden Restaurants, Wyeth, Canon, 3M, Eli Lilly, Dairy Queen, ETrade, the NFL and T.J. Maxx.

The iPhone app -- also available for iPod touch -- features a steak that can be flipped up to four times, and with the aid of 3D glasses, in three dimensions and stereoscope.

It is available as a free download on iTunes.

According to Grey New York, mobile applications are the next big platform for connecting with consumers.

Every time application users look at their phones, whether or not they use it on a regular basis, they see the LongHorn Steakhouse logo.

The target is the approximately 30 million people in the U.S. who now own an iPhone or iPod touch.

"The idea for the iphone app grew out of a search for non-traditional ways to leverage the brand's steak equity," said Michele Kay, executive vice president at Grey, New York. "This gave us an approach that's engaging, relevant and ?of today.'

"We operate in a highly competitive category, and it's always important to stand out," he said. "The app allows us to be fun and to keep our presence integrated into consumers' daily lives."