The “P” is back in IHOP’s name, signaling a shift back to pancakes in the family chain’s promotional efforts.
The all-franchised operation will offer a short stack of pancakes for 60 cents Tuesday, July 17, as a tie-in to the brand’s 60th anniversary. The deal follows the chain’s three-week push for a new line of hamburgers, a come-on the chain supercharged with the gimmick of changing its name to IHOb, with the “b” standing for “burgers.” The publicity stunt became an internet sensation, generating 86,000 tweets per hour at one point, according to President Darren Rebelez. In addition, about 80% of IHOP’s website traffic during the early days of the promotion came from first-time visitors, he told Restaurant Business.
To date, the name change has generated 32 billion impressions and 18,000 media stories, according to a brand spokesperson.
“It did exactly what we intended it to do, which was to get people talking about, and thinking differently about, IHOP,” she says. “Overall we’re pleased with both early results and the guest feedback we’ve heard related to our new Steakburgers.”
IHOb didn’t say at the time of its rechristening that the name change would be temporary, though the signage of just one store was rejiggered with the new identity. IHOP dropped the short-lived alias this week with a wink to its followers on Twitter. “That’s right, IHOP!” it tweeted. “We’d never turn our back on pancakes (except for that time we faked it to promote our new burgers).”
The Huffington Post called the name reversal “a development that surprised virtually no one,” while Fox News ran a story headlined, “IHOP admits 'IHOb' name change was publicity stunt.”