In a decidedly non-shocking turn of events, IHOP announces today that the chain is reversing its previously non-shocking proclamation of changing its name from the International House Of Pancakes to the International House Of Burgers. “Psych!” IHOP appears to be crowing delightedly, but by and large no one else seems amused. As Stephanie Peterson, IHOP’s executive director of communications explained to USA Today, “We knew we had a very tough job to do to convince people that we take our burgers as seriously as we take our pancakes. So, we went bold with the campaign.”
Bold = Lie to America?
The reclaim of the IHOP name is apparently a nod to the chain’s 60th birthday, which it is also celebrating with a pitch for 60-cent pancakes. IHOP cheekily explains on Twitter that it would “never turn our back on pancakes (except for that time we faked it to promote our new burgers).” (Bold emphasis ours.)
So the IHOB switch, for all the marketing and social media hoopla, was a flat-out scam. This seemed fairly clear from the outset, but it also seems like an effective way to piss off your core fan base. Wasn’t there another, better way to push a new line of burgers that didn’t involve revising a logo to resemble an applicator-less tampon line? Back to the marketing board room with you, IHOP, and don’t come back out again until you have some actual good ideas.