Burger Sales Quadrupled After IHOP Became IHOB

The stunt was a success

Remember IHOB? Turns out the stunt did in fact help burger sales. Ihop
Headshot of Katie Richards

Remember that time when the International House of Pancakes decided to shock the world and changed its named to the International House of Burgers?

At the time, you may have been one of the many skeptical souls wondering whether the stunt actually helped the International House of Pancakes dive into the burger business. Well, the company has proved the haters wrong.

“The IHOb campaign greatly exceeded all of our expectations. The creative strategy behind it was to convince the public that we take our burgers as seriously as we take our pancakes so, to convey that, we had to make a big statement in a disruptive way. And it worked,” said Brad Haley, chief marketing officer, IHOP.

In the first three weeks after the announcement hit, IHOP said it sold four times more burgers and that burger sales have “remained stable” in the weeks following. The brand reported that even in the last three weeks of the second quarter, IHOP saw a 0.7 percent increase in same-restaurant sales for Q2.

“This was one of the most visible marketing campaigns in IHOP’s history, earning us the first, second and fourth trending spots on Twitter—all at the same time—on the day we announced our new Ultimate Steakburgers,” Haley added.

The campaign itself, done in partnership with agency Droga5, also pulled in some impressive social media numbers. In the first 10 days following the IHOb news, there were over 1.2 million tweets about the brand and its burgers and over 2.1 million social media conversations about IHOb. The brand scored 25,000 stories and 41 billion earned impressions, with over 100 brands and celebrities joining in

“IHOP is the pancake place people love, but we knew consumers didn’t believe IHOP could also do a great burger. We needed consumers to take these burgers seriously, so we had to prove IHOP took burgers seriously. Creatively that strategy came to life as a temporary name change to IHOb,” said Jonny Bauer, global chief strategy officer, Droga5. “Burgers have always been on the IHOP menu, and after the IHOb launch, orders of burgers quadrupled. There’s also been a significant uptick in lunch and dinner day parts, which was our ultimate business objective.”

@ktjrichards katie.richards@adweek.com Katie Richards is a staff writer for Adweek.