The International House of Something

Last year IHOP, known the world over as the International House of Pancakes, made a temporary (and to be honest largely superficial) change to IHOb - the International House of Burgers.

From a branding perspective, IHOb stunt was well done. True to the brand voice and personality and executed with an appropriate sense of humor. It clearly worked. The campaign was a winner, burger sales quadrupled, and so the natural way of the world basically demands that IHOP do it again.

And so they will. The twist this time is that on June 3, the ‘P’ in IHOP is going to stand for something other than ‘Pancakes.’

The media powers are mad. Eater says “IHOPed We Were Done With This But IHOP Is Changing Its Name Again.” Mashable says “IHOP annoys everyone again with another name change.”

But does it matter what these curmudgeons think? The original thinking behind the strategy was that people only think of IHOP for breakfast, so let's drive traffic for other day-parts during a seasonally slow time of year by increasing awareness of non-breakfast offerings.

When it worked surprisingly well and an otherwise ignored chain of restaurants got a ton of impressions through earned media. It’s easy to overlook, given the success of the first campaign, that there were plenty of naysayers then. A Fox Business headline called it the”Dumbest Move Ever.”

So if only those who are attuned to marketing will actually be annoyed by this. Then those same folks will continue to talk about it and drive more media impressions to help it to work again.

It’s a win-win for IHOP.

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