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IHOP Becomes IHOb, the International House of Burgers (npr.org)
24 points by DoreenMichele 6 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 34 comments

As a temporary marketing campaign, this is brilliant.

Everyone says they care about the IHOP brand, and "threatening" is has brought out a viral storm of news stories and discussions. Everyone claims to care about IHOP, but how many people actually eat there anymore?

This reminds me of when Radio Shack decided to call themselves "The Shack," or when Toys'R'Us closed down, or Sears began to disappear from the American landscape. Each big change triggered a wave of nostalgia, but it was too late, the brands were on the way out, and nothing was going to save them.

In this case, though, IHOP is alive and well, and suggesting that the brand might change could make people who haven't set foot in an IHOP in years think about going back, just to revisit the experience.

Actually having a value proposition to offer, in this case upmarket(?) burgers, means IHOP won't just be banking on nostalgia, but really trying to woo consumers. Of course, if the burgers aren't any good, this will be a debacle. There's a saying on Madison Avenue, "nothing kills a bad product faster than good advertising."

>Everyone claims to care about IHOP, but how many people actually eat there anymore?

At least around where I live (Houston), I hardly ever am able to eat at an IHOP because it's always packed at breakfast time. I imagine it's a ghost town for dinner.

>Of course, if the burgers aren't any good, this will be a debacle.

Yeah. It's hard to build a loyal breakfast following, but in my experience they are doing fine there. Lunch and dinner is a whole different ball game- there is way more selection (but I guess you could say there's more people looking for food too.) All I can say is that these better be some dang good burgers for all this commotion. Especially if I can't grab a beer with my burger.

Similar in Dallas area. It is very accommodating to families with very young children, something that's otherwise hard to find for parents who don't want to feel like they're inconveniencing other patrons.

Yup. You want to take kids out politely, you gotta go to the madhouse places full of other folks doing the same thing.

yeah, I've had better pancakes really... would be nice if they actually had good/real maple syrup, instead of corn-starch flavored crap. They need to really move it up a notch, maybe make burgers at least as good as Red Robin... maybe make some gourmet options like bison sliders or something. I usually go to local dives for a good burger, they're always sooo much better than chains.

From a financial perspective this makes sense to me. With "pancakes" in the name you're practically guiding customers to your $7 entree. Change the name to "burgers" and you're prompting the $12 entree instead, with a potential 70% improvement in revenue.

It's just a short-term marketing stunt to promote their burgers, they'll be back to IHOP soon enough. I'm surprised this got so much traction with people I follow on Twitter. A successful stunt, certainly.

I had to block it on twitter. So freaking obvious what it is yet everyone is eating it up.

What's worse is this is a link to NPR, on the front page of HN. There are no sanctuaries.

"Native advertising"

Oddly enough you don't have to even pay for this kind of content as long as you can make it go viral enough. Media outlets LOVE jumping on popular topics. None of the articles ever contain anything of substance either. Always a couple twitter posts and a rehash of what people said along with a line or two from a pr or some other outlet.

It used to be that these kinds of things came from the Associated Press (AP) does that play a role anymore? We are considering doing a press release (PR) and I have little understanding of the entire process.

Depends on the publication. PRnewswire is probably a good starting point. I've been more on the pr receiving side and most of my prs come from there or via direct access to a companies pr distribution list.

I don't know about that, they changed their signs and everything.

Ignoring the fact this is a stunt...

Profit matters, not revenue. The ingredients in pancakes cost virtually nothing. Meat is expensive.

Assuming the profit margins are about the same [citation needed], then greater revenues translates to greater profits.

If they would have went with IHOd they could just flip their "p" into a "d" and save millions on rebranding those signs! Then if it fails they can add an "L" later and pivot into the crypto-currency space.

They must have spent millions for the smiley face logo. It's still salvageable with the 'b'.

With "b" also it's a vertical flip.

But it requires reversing back and front.

The CNN Money article including quotes from the CEO indicates that it's temporary and that a few locations may change signage temporarily but most will remain as they've always been.


> "We are definitely going to be IHOP," Darren Rebelez, president of IHOP, told CNNMoney. "But we want to convey that we are taking our burgers as seriously as our pancakes."

> An IHOP in Hollywood is getting new IHOb signs, and some others might get the treatment.

> But Rebelez said the vast majority of the nearly 1,800 other locations will still go by IHOP.

Looks like ihob.com was transfered (or at least the whois updated) yesterday... the owner is going to make a tidy profit if this name change is permanent.

I heard that @IHOB was created and verified by twitter a number of years ago. Perhaps they had been planning a burger release for quite some time.

50k if he got what he wanted.

I was going to call this the dumbest marketing stunt I've ever seen, but then I saw the Domino's one.

Too bad they don't have ihob.com…

It looks like the current owner has put up an ihop-looking logo and has listed the site for $50,000

Smart domain squater!

Not sure if you're being sarcastic, but that is the literally the worst thing the ihob.com domain owner can do and will no doubt give IHob an edge if/when they file a UDRP complaint.

When they're done with their publicity grab they can continue as IHOB -- International Hall Of Bullshit.

this world gets shittier every day

If this is what keeps you up at night, you live a blessed life.

To be fair, passing off a blatant advertising PR stunt as 'news' further blurs the line between actual news/facts, opinions, and bullshit for people who have a hard time determining which is which.

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