The Biggest Publicity Stunt of 2018: IHOB

Breakfast lovers everywhere were shocked to learn that the International House of Pancakes would become the International House of Burgers. The fast food chain revealed a change would be made on June 4 by tweeting, “For 60 pancakin’ years, we’ve been IHOP. Now, we’re flippin’ our name to IHOB. Find out what it could b on 6.11.18. #IHOB.” Internet users did not hold back on expressing their betrayal, curiosity and excitement immediately following the announcement.

However, the company retracted this controversial decision with another tweet on July 9th:



In an interview with USA Today IHOP Spokeswoman, Stephanie Peterson admits that the stunt was solely to publicize their new menu items and, “to convince people that we take our burgers as seriously as we take our pancakes.” As shocking as this news is, the reality of the situation is that this was, by all means, a successful campaign. Whether or not you were one of the many people who went to IHOB to try one of their black angus burgers, chances are you were talking about it. Everyone was! Many people were impressed with the line of burgers, while others were worried that this would be the end of the IHOP’s legendary pancakes. In the end both groups win! The burgers will continue to be a part of IHOPs menu, and so will their world famous pancakes! The IHOB stunt achieved the impossible by forcing people to associate the International House of Pancakes with things other than pancakes. Although IHOP has had burgers on its menu since its creation in 1958, the chain was predominantly known for its breakfast foods until June 11th. Although it is unclear at this point whether or not this hoax will result in increased revenue, it certainly led to greater awareness that was only possible because of the mass amounts of engagement and rapid spread of news that social media allows for.