Case Study: Brand Tracking for IHOP


IHOP, home of iconic breakfasts, needed to prove they take burgers as seriously as they do pancakes.


IHOP is an iconic brand that has built deep ties to pancakes and breakfast over the past 60 years. The company wanted to know what it would take to entice the lunch and dinnertime crowd, and how they could leverage this understanding to capture hearts (and stomachs) at all hours.


To earn business after breakfast, IHOP needed to prove that they take their burgers as seriously as their pancakes.


Consumer research pointed to craveable burgers as the best way to make IHOP more relevant in lunch and dinner, so the team developed a new line of Ultimate Steakburgers which outperformed their original burgers in taste and desirability.

The new menu and a teaser marketing campaign formed the foundation of the IHOb — International House of Burgers campaign. A mysterious company-wide rebrand to IHOb, followed a week later by a the reveal that B was for their new line of burgers, created a two-pronged social media storm that trended higher on Twitter than President Trump’s visit to North Korea. The meaning of the mysterious B dominated online conversation, with celebrities like Cardi B and other brands joining in. This created some serious buzz, garnering 42.5 billion media impressions, 28,000+ media stories, and $113 million in earned media. IHOP burger sales quadrupled and non-breakfast traffic surged. The hype was real — our brand tracker showed perceptions that IHOP “has great burgers” grew significantly and hadn’t faded even nine months later. More


Winner, Grand Ogilvy — Advertising Research Foundation, 2019

Gold, Best Brand Transformation Ogilvy — Advertising Research Foundation, 2019

Silver, Retail & Restaurants Ogilvy — Advertising Research Foundation, 2019