- IHOP changed its name to IHOb as part of a marketing stunt that went viral.
- It announced it would be changing its name before revealing why, leading to lots of speculation.
- When it was finally revealed on Monday that the “b” in IHOb stands for burgers, some saw the news as a little anti-climactic.
- The marketing gimmick appears to be a massive win for the breakfast-based chain, which likely wouldn’t have gotten as much attention for a relatively minor menu change if it hadn’t been rolled out this way.
Changing your name is dramatic.
When IHOP announced it would be changing its name to IHOb – without revealing why – it certainly got people’s attention. People speculated it could signify everything from the mundane (Could it mean International House of brunch?) to the practical (International House of breakfast, perhaps?).
The brand finally pulled back the curtain on Monday and revealed that the “b” stands for burgers and is tied to a launch of a new line of burgers. Though IHOP had burgers on its menu before, the just-launched refresh of the burger line is meant to make them taste better and have higher-quality ingredients. There are seven new burgers on the menu, including one that’s topped with mushrooms and Swiss cheese, as well as a breakfast burger topped with bacon and egg.
“Everyone knows that IHOP makes world-famous pancakes so we felt like the best way to convince them that we are as serious about our new line of Ultimate Steakburgers as we are about our pancakes, was to change our name to IHOb,” Brad Haley, the chain’s CMO, said in a statement.
People online weren’t psyched when they got the news, with many noting that IHOP isn’t as known for burgers as it is for pancakes and other breakfast staples.
Your marketing team needs to be fired…ASAP.
— Nicole (@Littlebethell) June 11, 2018
This is a joke, right?
— Dan Pelletier (@Dantvman) June 11, 2018
I just need let you know @IHOb that name change is the stupidest thing one single brand could do. Like whoever thought that was a good move to change your name to the “International House of Burgers” needs to be fired. Who goes to IHOP for a damn Burger? Idiots
— Justyn Skalski (@Palmetto_Bowl) June 11, 2018
Of course, the mere fact that everyone is talking about the campaign shows how successful it was, as Business Insider’s Josh Barro tweeted.
This IHOB troll/campaign is brilliant and the fact that everyone is talking about it shows how brilliant it is.
— Josh Barro (@jbarro) June 11, 2018
After the marketing stunt, more people will now likely associate IHOP with burgers than previously did, even after the name reverts back to plain old IHOP.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.