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Volkswagen sees more than 2M downloads of iPhone game

Volkswagen of America Inc. claims that its game, Real Racing GTI, has been downloaded more than 2 million times.

The iPhone application served as a marketing tool that supported the launch of the 2010 model of the GTI. According to Volkswagen, within four days of its launch the application, it was downloaded more than 750,000 times.

?Volkswagen has done a lot of in-depth research, especially surrounding the GTI target consumer, and have found that in many cases, he is a tech-savvy individual, who enjoys social networking, plays games and spends time on mobile devices and in most cases, that device is an iPhone,? said Charlie Taylor, general manager of digital marketing at Volkswagen of America, Herndon, VA.

?Volkswagen believes that the iPhone platform reaches our target customer?s sweet spot and allows us to make an impact in a way that a 30-second spot never could,? he said. ?The Real Racing GTI app is an excellent example of how Volkswagen's use of the mobile space can add a new dimension to our efforts for reaching customers, and provides a deeper level of engagement.?

Volkswagen of America is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG and produces automobile models such as the new Beetle, new Beetle convertible, Jetta and Passat.

Launching on the iPhone
Volkswagen said that it is the first automaker to launch a product with an iPhone application (see story).

Mr. Taylor said that the campaign exceeded Volkswagen?s expectations.

As of Nov. 7, Volkswagen said that the application had 2.2 million downloads and became the No. 1 free application in the United States? Apple App Store.

Mr. Taylor said that the application has generated GTI requests from more than 40,000 consumers.

According to Volkswagen, the application is the No. 1 free application in 35 countries and is in the top three in every other market.

?The global reach has been phenomenal,? Mr. Taylor said. ?More than 30 cars have been sold as a result so far.?

One of the key elements to the application?s success was selecting television host Olivia Munn from the G4 network?s ?Attack of the Show.?

Mr. Taylor said that Ms. Munn is on the radar of Volkswagen?s target audience and that he was not surprised that consumers rallied around the message Ms. Munn delivered.

However, Mr. Taylor said that Volkswagen was surprised at how quickly consumers took to the iPhone application.

Volkswagen and Ms. Munn used Twitter to promote the game launch and as a result the application became the No. 6 trending topic on Twitter during the day of the launch.

?It was also both surprising and pleasing to see how successful the launch was with no preliminary supporting ad spend or additional marketing campaign,? Mr. Taylor said. ?When the all-new 2010 GTI was first launched, the Real Racing GTI app was the sole marketing element, and looking at the overwhelming results, that proved to be the best way to connect with our target consumers.?

Mr. Taylor said that Volkswagen is always exploring ways to create deeper engagement with its target consumers.

Volkswagen plans to use its mobile site at as a hub for its mobile communications.

The automaker said that it will continue to integrate mobile calls-to-action in its entire 2010 marketing mix.

?It?s reflective of how consumers are engaging in a wide variety of media types,? Mr. Taylor said. ?Expect enhanced owner applications and extended functionality into social media within our mobile strategy for 2010.?