Last month the International House of Pancakes pulled a stunt that put its namesake at risk. The company announced it was changing its name to IHOb, flipping the ‘P’ around on the last letter of its acronym in a mystery move the restaurant initially wouldn’t explain.
After some speculation and internet sleuthing, it was discovered that the ‘b’ stood for burgers, and was a marketing ploy to advertise a new line of all-beef burgers the company was launching. The internet was outraged at the move, either because of IHOP betraying its initial purpose as a pancake emporium or that it was just some kind of elaborate marketing scheme.
As it turns out, that’s exactly what it is. The company announced a new promotion on Twitter on Monday and the sham that was IHOb is no more.
According to USA Today, this was all part of the plan.
“We knew we had a very tough job to do to convince people that we take our burgers as seriously as we take our pancakes,” said Stephanie Peterson, IHOP’s executive director of communications. “So, we went bold with the campaign.”
But “bold” came at the cost of many people simply not knowing what was going on, if the company was serious or even if they were still going to sell pancakes. Which is why the tweet needed to so plainly claim the company was full of malarkey in the first place. It’s not the savviest of marketing schemes, but it did get people talking about patties for a few days.
That new campaign, by the way? Extremely discounted pancakes. Perhaps as an attempt to absolve itself from burger betrayal.
(Via USA Today)