GLENDALE, CA: Time to cancel the fanfare. Put away the trumpets. It’s "pancakes." The P in IHOP’s latest rebrand stands for "pancakes."
On its face, it doesn’t seem like much of a rebrand, but it’s actually part of IHOP’s plan to troll people who flipped out when it temporarily rebranded to IHOb last year. CliffsNotes version: IHOb was short for "International House of Burgers," in an effort to advertise the chain’s other menu offerings. It did not go over well with many customers, who told the chain to stick to pancakes.
It looks like IHOP listened, sort of.
The brand’s big reveal came after teasing consumers last week by tweeting a video of the B in IHOb turning into a P with the text, "What could the P be? Find out June 3. #IHOP." Putting a cheeky twist on the whole matter, IHOP is calling its new steakburgers "pancakes."
Stay with me, now. This is a bit confusing.
On Monday, it is launching a lineup of black Angus beef pancakes: The Garlic Butter "Pancake," The Loaded Philly "Pancake" and The Big IHOP "Pancake," which is a "Pancake" with a pancake in it.
The message: IHOP wants to show that it takes its burgers as seriously as it takes its pancakes.
Taking things a step further, IHOP has also created The Bancake List, an aggregated list of Twitter users who tweeted at IHOP to stay in its lane during the IHOb campaign last year. To get off the list, which can be seen at BancakeList.com, they just have to tweet something nice about IHOP’s pancakes or burgers.
If people don’t want to create their own tweet, IHOP is providing "funny" options that people can choose from. Additionally, they may be rewarded with a "token of the brand’s appreciation." People who were instant fans of the IHOb campaign aren’t chopped liver though; IHOP will be engaging many of those people, too.
There were more than 3.3 million tweets about #IHOb last year, and the campaign led to the chain selling four times the amount of black Angus beef steakburgers than it had before. The burgers are still selling double what IHOP sold before, according to a statement.
IHOP’s lead creative agency, Droga5, is behind this digital experience, meant to "engage last year’s naysayers and convert haters into eaters," the release said.