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IHOP Social Campaign

There is hardship in everything except eating pancakes! ~ Charles Spurgeon

What do pancakes, social media, and rodents have in common?

Living in the marketing world, we are always tuned into the latest and greatest developments in local and national marketing campaigns. For example, are you following Wendy’s on Twitter? Seriously, life GOALS! Their snappy, authentic posts for the fast food chain can be the highlight of one’s social day! But recently there was a marketing campaign from another International restaurant chain that we found so intriguing!

Earlier this month IHOP took social media by storm with a mysterious message that they would be ‘flipping’ their ‘p’ to a ‘b.’ But why? Social followers were all abuzz with speculation on what the new ‘b’ would stand for! Of course, the frontrunner was breakfast with 70% of people boasting the obvious choice because that’s what IHOP does, right? Aahh, therein lies the beauty of this campaign. IHOP, sorry—I mean IHOb wants to get the word out that they are more than just breakfast. They are flipping to the ‘b’ to boost their burgers. It’s not just about pancakes any more people!

So, what makes this marketing campaign memorable enough to appear in a Woodchuck newsletter? There are a few takeaways that we find interesting from this campaign.

1. According to the social media management company Sprinklr, there were 1.8 million mentions of IHOb and 1 million of IHOP on Twitter June 1st through the afternoon of June 13th. (And funny enough, one of the best negative tweets was from Wendy’s. You really need to follow them!) Those are some seriously impressive numbers in a short time frame. The social world blew up at guessing what the company’s cryptic teaser truly meant. Nothing gets the social world going like a week-long guessing game.

2. Arguably, National Pancake day is typically IHOP’s biggest media generator with around 5,000 media stories. The media buzz surrounding this flip generated about 15,000 stories, proving 3 times more productive than their typical biggest day. As the saying goes, there is no such thing as bad publicity.


3. Which leads us to the third thing we find interesting about this campaign, now what? Will people be confused about why they should go to IHOP? Do I want burgers or pancakes? Will this distance their principal customers? The campaign hasn’t succeeded in forming long lines out the doors of the restaurant with patrons wanting their bite of the burger push. Yet IHOP’s officials are reported as being very pleased with the campaign. So perhaps it served its short-lived purpose.

So, was it a successful campaign? It certainly generated a lot of buzz and perhaps some small wagers in a certain household. It’s only a temporary change for the restaurant and the pancakes aren’t going anywhere, much to their staunch followers’ delight. It seems with well over 2 million mentions on Twitter in just 13 days, there was definitely some measurement of success.

One thing is certain, it got our wheels spinning. What do you think of the name Woodchuck Tarts? Ya, guess our bakery division will have to wait.


The incredible thing about the internet is that we can work anywhere! Woodchuck Arts is geo-located in Newark, Ohio, Caledonia, MI and Toledo, OH. We serve clients from Seattle, Washington, to Washington D.C.

Email Heather at heather@woodchuckarts.com or call 724-281-0559
Email Erin at erin@woodchuckarts.com or call 616-528-2747

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