As a marketing ploy and a way to hype up the release of a new product, IHOP announced earlier this year that they were going to change their name temporarily to IHOb. This created a lot of buzz on social media and was a smart way to generate publicity and interest, keeping IHOP relevant and in the public eye in a whole new way. This was certainly a creative campaign that was effective in engaging their audience.
For an entire week they teased the public, making them guess what the b would stand for and responding to some messages, but not really revealing anything concrete. People went crazy trying to guess, thinking that it might stand for various products or a specific word. Mostly, IHOP told the public that they needed to have “batience” and it would be revealed shortly. Finally, it came out that it stood for burgers, and IHOP would change to IHOb for about a month in July in honor of their new fast food product.
The stunt creating a surge in online impressions by 6,477% and kept their online followers engaged consistently the entire week leading up to the reveal, which was very unexpected. It certainly was a risky move, given the fact that burgers are something that isn’t necessarily consistent with their brand’s image. They may have polarized some consumers with this change, however, overall I think it was an effective marketing strategy that efficiently increased buzz about the new product and the overall company, even though they have since changed their name back to IHOP.