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Marketing

IHOP: We’re now calling our burgers ‘pancakes’

A year after its IHOb marketing stunt went viral, the pancake chain is at it again.
Photograph courtesy of IHOP

IHOP, which made international news last year when it upgraded its burger offerings and briefly rebranded to IHOb, is back to its original name—but there’s a twist, the company announced Monday.

Bowing to critics of the previous stunt, who urged Dine Brands’ International House of Pancakes to stick to pancakes, IHOP launched three new burger offerings that it is referring to as (drumroll, please): pancakes. Only one of the new burger builds includes an actual pancake.

IHOP’s menu of “100% USDA Choice Black Angus beef ‘pancakes,’” all sandwiched between hamburger buns, now includes:

  • The Big IHOP “Pancake,” with a cheddar-griddled pancake and American cheese, two steakburger patties, bacon and IHOP sauce.
  • Garlic Butter “Pancake,” with Gilroy garlic butter, bacon, white cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion and mayo.
  • Loaded Philly “Pancake,” with sauteed onions, peppers, melted white cheddar and cheddar cheese sauce.

“We’re listening to the internet this year by calling our new Steakburgers ‘Pancakes,’” said Brad Haley, IHOP’s CMO, in a statement. “And, so many people asked us why we didn’t have a pancake burger last year that we’ve even added a ‘Pancake’ with a pancake in it.”

It’s little wonder IHOP would try to recapture the success of its IHOb campaign: The gimmick initially quadrupled the chain’s burger sales, garnered more than 3 million tweets and generated more than 18,000 media reports.

Initial social media reaction to the “P is for burgers” stunt was mixed Monday. Said one Twitter user: “Are you serious? This is the stupidest marketing campaign ever! Pancakes aren’t burgers, nor do they begin with a P.” And another noted, “Here’s hoping the ‘p’ in IHOP stands for ‘please stop.’”

Under its new marketing effort, IHOP is attempting to engage its haters. Those who tweeted anything uncharitable about the IHOb stunt were placed on “The Bancake List,” the company said. To be removed from the list, they need to tweet something nice about the chain’s burgers or pancakes.

“Users can visit BancakeList.com to find out whether they or their friends are on The Bancake List, and how to get off of it,” IHOP said in a press release.

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