IHOP or IHOB? That is the question.

Advertising. Disruption. Advertising. Channel Mix. Advertising. Messaging.

Amélie Co

Last month IHOP ran a campaign touting their burgers as an option at the restaurant chain. The creative agency, Droga5, used a disruptive technique – ‘renaming’ the chain to IHOB: International House of Burgers, from its traditional IHOP moniker to gain attention for the promotion.

“We had to communicate the fact that we have burgers in a very disruptive way,” says Haley, all while being careful that IHOP’s burger advertising, which comes from Droga5, wouldn’t be mistaken for another brand’s. Hence, the new name—it’s temporary—and a TV spot featuring a restaurant manager shouting from the chain’s recognizable pitched blue rooftop.

Ihob

In terms of raising awareness for the chain’s burgers, the campaign certainly achieved its goal – though potentially at the expense of credibility among its competitors. The collective industry – marketing and the restaurant category – took to social media in real time to hound, harass and mock the chain and its campaign. Industry commentary was strong, but coming back to the marketing goal of product awareness, the campaign was incredibly successful in leveraging competitor social communities to talk about IHOP’s business.

What made this campaign effective was coupling energetic and on brand messaging with a proper understanding and execution of media channel capabilities. In the restaurant category, social media is an incredibly active media channel, allowing brands and fans to engage and participate. Droga5 successfully married all parts of the marketing paradigm to gain success for its client.

That’s the lesson for marketers: understand the brand, the target, the category and the channel to build successful promotional campaigns.