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IHOP tries to make viral lightning strike twice with “pancake” burgers

But can the brand convince the burger haters?

A burger by any other name is still a burger, right? But maybe it’s easier to swallow if it's called a pancake.

That’s what IHOP is thinking.

The family-dining chain is following up their successful IHOb stunt with a new burger-related promo. Last year, the chain, owned by parent company Dine Brands Global Inc. added new burgers to their menu and pretended to change their name to IHOb causing a good deal of buzz for the brand.

On Monday the brand is trying to go viral again by unveiling three new burgers, which the brand is insisting on calling pancakes. Why? Because the brand just won’t accept that haters gonna hate. 


Burgers were “hard for a lot of people to accept since they’d always known IHOP primarily as the breakfast and pancake place, so they took to social media to tell us — often in no uncertain terms — to stay in our lane and stick to pancakes,” said Brad Haley, chief marketing officer at IHOP, in a news release. “There were over 3.3 million tweets about #IHOb last year, and some of them weren’t very nice.”


Of course, the campaign was quite successful.

“Since we've launched this [promotion] our burger sales are about four times what they used to be,” brand president Darren Rebelez told NRN last year.

“What it's really done is it's given more people more reasons to come to IHOP more often.”

IHOP is hoping to give customers a new reason to visit with this promotion and three new “pancakes”: The Garlic Butter “Pancake”, The Loaded Philly “Pancake”, and The Big IHOP “Pancake” which really does have a pancake in it.  The burgers are available for a limited time and will be served with unlimited fries, starting at $6.99.

Now about those haters.

“Our lead creative agency, Droga5, created a digital experience to engage last year’s naysayers and convert haters into eaters,” explained Haley in the release.

“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. Fortunately, there is a way to get off The Bancake List— all they have to do is tweet something nice about IHOP’s Pancakes/Burgers, and they’ll be removed from the list.”


What could go wrong?

As of December 31, 2018, there were 1,831 IHOP restaurants around the world.

Contact Gloria Dawson at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @GloriaDawson

TAGS: Marketing
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