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You see Burger & Pancakes, I See Marketing Genius

Just over a month ago, International House of Pancakes (IHOP) tweeted that they were changing their name by turning the P upside-down to make it IHOb.

Was their Twitter account hacked? Did they just make the biggest mistake in branding for a company that has been know as IHOP since 1973? OR was this a brilliant marketing ploy?

Established in 1958, with over 1650 stores world-wide by 2015, why would anyone rebrand? Hmmmm… 2018 – 1958 = 60 years… probably a marketing campaign for a 60th birthday, me thinks.

Well played IHOP, you got people talking.

The publicity stunt caused the IHOP brand to trend about 15% higher than their 2018 average for Word of Mouth, according to YouGov.

Vague on purpose, IHOP had people guessing what the “b” stood for. Some guessed with might stand for breakfast, biscuits, burgers or bacon. Of course, the best choice would have been bacon, am I right??

The marketing team used social media to boost engagement, create suspense and anticipation telling fans that there would be a big announcement on June 11th. Social media was buzzing with polls of what the “b” might be.

When June 11th approached, IHOb announced that they were now releasing a new line of beef patties. After the announcement, fans took to social media to share their opinion.

We’ve seen some pretty hilarious posts from competitors, like this one from A&W…


Wendy’s with the burn!


Netflib sounds so much better.


Burger King will now be known as Pancake King


This one from a Twitter fan…

Not letting on to it being a marketing ploy, IHOP continued operating as IHOb (International House of Burgers). They even began changing store signs to the newly branded IHOb logo with banners welcoming people to the Grand Re-Obening.

IHOb / IHOP Marketing GeniusOn July 9th, they announced that they were reverting back to IHOP, using the media exposure to brand their 60¢ Pancakes for their 60th anniversary.

Whether people liked the media stunt or not, it got people talking. In my books, it was a successful marketing campaign, though the stats are yet to show the impact.

Know a media stunt we need to check out? Comment below.

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