A month ago IHOP changed its name to IHOb and the internet went insane.
Twitter tried to figure out what the “b” stood for and brunch seemed like the most plausible answer, but it was revealed days later that it stood for…burgers. Yes, one of the most accessible all-day breakfast spots in the country decided to focus on grilling burgers instead of leaning into what they’re known for.
“We’re serious about the quality of food and our menu, and this name change really reflects that,” Stephanie Peterson, IHOP’s executive director of communications, told USA Today at the time.
But it turns out that it was all a publicity stunt, conducted to draw attention to some updates to its menu. And it worked; it got people talking about IHOP whether they agreed with the name change or not. The company’s chief marketing officer, Brad Haley, says the ploy was successful and did what it was intended to: disrupt.
“The whole goal of this effort was to convince people that we were just as serious about our burgers as we are about our pancakes. Consequently, we needed to make a bold signal to disrupt people’s thinking about IHOP and make it IHOb,” Haley said.
The chain just announced that it will be serving 60¢ short stacks of pancakes on July 17 in honor of its 60th birthday, which is the ultimate peace offering.