Earlier this month, IHOP decided it was time for another stunt focused on its burger menu. In 2018, the International House of Pancakes decided a name change was in the cards, and opted to be called IHOb, switching out pancakes for burgers.
I shared my thoughts about this marketing stunt last year, and while the marketing ploy — which wasn’t even a full name change — may have worked, I still think it was pretty lame.
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But now, since so many people gave IHOP “grief” over the IHOb campaign, the restaurant chain has something new up their sleeves.
So …IHOP just continues to double down on weird … and not even the interesting kind.
According to Food Newsfeed, there were over 3.3 million tweets about last year’s stunt, and not all of them were positive. CMO Brad Haley is quoted:
“So, our lead creative agency, Droga5, created a digital experience to engage last year’s naysayers and convert haters into eaters. Those who tweeted something, shall we say, unkind last year may find that they’re on ‘The Bancake List,’ an aggregated list of Twitter users who tweeted at IHOP to stay in its lane.”
Yes that’s right. Not only is IHOP calling burgers pancakes, but they created the website Bancakelist.com. There, you can enter your Twitter handle, and if it comes up that you said something nasty about IHOP and last year’s stunt … well, you can “make it right” by tweeting something nice, and you can receive a “reward.” Because folks, this is how you spend marketing dollars wisely.
Needless to say … I didn’t send that tweet.
I think you need to fire your marketing director. This is getting out of hand.
— Jennifer Fang (@jennfang58) June 6, 2019
I understand the need to get a customer-base excited about a product, and to market it well. But this continues to be goofy and borderline-dumb. Those burgers look delicious … so why not focus on that? Why call them something they’re not, just to get the public riled up, and institute a Bancake list?
If the response is “Well, it gets people talking?” then my comment is: What’s the ROI of that? Marketers, tell me what you think!