GLENDALE, CA: Everyone has relied on coping mechanisms to get through the past year, and IHOP is hoping pancakes are one vice that consumers will turn to in times of need.
The restaurant chain is encouraging people to tweet at IHOP for “pancake support” using the hashtag #INeedPancakeSupport with stories from quarantine misadventures, work from home fails, funny mishaps or reasons why they just might need a pancake. In exchange, IHOP is giving out free pancakes and other prizes.
“This is a time to reconnect with our guests after not being able to see them for more than a year in most of our restaurants,” said Candice Jacobson, director of brand communications at IHOP.
IHOP created a video with a jingle about the tongue-in-cheek campaign and tweeted it out this week.
The chain has also partnered with celebrities and influencers such as "Selling Sunset" star Chrishell Stause and former Vine star Hayes Grier, who tweeted videos explaining why they need pancake support.
It’s been a hard year, but pancakes are soft. Here’s why #INeedPancakeSupport. ⁰Tweet @IHOP your story with #INeedPancakeSupport and you could get free pancakes! #ad https://t.co/oNSTkQwOfi 13+FCFS Ends 7/2/21— Chrishell (@Chrishell7) June 29, 2021
IHOP is also partnering with other people who could use a pancake including model Nivine Jay, who turned down actor Ben Affleck on a dating app thinking his match request was fake (it wasn't) and even the IHOP hostess who didn't recognize comedian Adam Sandler when he showed up for all-you-can-drink Milkshakes.
"We are also doing timely community management," said Jacobson. "We have seen a lot of guests chime in with why they could use a pancake, so we are reaching out to them."
Pancake Support can’t solve your problems. But our syrupy support might be the best distraction you’ll ever have. So DM us and stop stressing! pic.twitter.com/S8slY9LVRB— IHOP (@IHOP) July 1, 2021
The social activation that kicked off this week is part of a larger campaign that launched on June 14 called We Could All Use a Pancake. A company statement said the campaign is "designed to welcome guests back and celebrate IHOP's strongly-held belief that those little circles of yumminess have the power to bring us together and put a smile on our faces – something we've all been missing over the past year."
IHOP will continue its "pancake support message" throughout the month, said Jacobson. On July 13, the brand will give out 58-cent pancakes – in honor of its founding in 1958 -- to celebrate its 63rd anniversary.
Budget information was not disclosed.
DeVries Global supported this campaign with earned media relations and Droga5 was in charge of creative.