Hey all! Bud here with a slightly un-chilled matter to discuss. Don’t panic.
You may have heard that the International House of Pancakes is now the International House of Burgers. You may be mad, sad, or confused about why a chain priding itself on its pancakes would do this. You may have shared the story on social media and told all your friends. You may all 100% agree, this is a change for the worse.
And that’s exactly what IHOP wants you to do. They have won.You have effectively told everyone you know that IHOP sells burgers.
And in two months‘ time (seriously, time me on that), when absolutely nothing has changed, not the name of the restaurant, not the signage out front, not the staff aprons, not the menus…nothing except the TV commercials where the “P” flips to a “b” has changed…IHOP will come back with “You asked! We LISTENED! Pancakes are BACK in the name!! And now 3 for just $6.99, for a limited time!!”
It’s a rather annoying reality of the 21st century – media companies want your attention. They want to find you at your most vulnerable, grip you up by your collar, and scream their agenda in your face, in this case, “BUUURRRGGGGGERS!!!” Trump’s been very good for business that way – he’s taught marketers that the best way to advertise is to grab your emotional heartstrings by the…well, you know.
The problem is that people on social often have a very knee-jerk reaction to these tactics and, without stopping to think, have already tweeted and been publicly bound to their anger.
Now what happens? They go to IHOP, and they tell their server, “You guys are stupid for changing your name! No one buys your burgers!” As if a part-time IHOP employee working two other jobs to support a family of 5 she never gets to see has any say in the decision.
Meanwhile, at IHOP’s headquarters, some bratty marketing manager sits back at their desk, kicks their feet up, and watches Facebook explode with talk of IHOP’s burgers.
It’s not a conspiracy, it’s the truth of the marketing world. The phrase “any publicity is good publicity” absolutely applies, even if it’s publicity that manipulates people’s emotions and contributes to the public’s general unhappiness and negativity. IHOP doesn’t care if you’re mad. It means you’re talking about IHOP. It means you’re buying their product.
Why is the host of a jokey, conversational podcast writing about this? To remind you that you need a healthy dose of reality, away from marketers and salespeople, and an awareness of the practice. Your silence has power. Don’t let these filthy-rich assholes at the top trick you into doing their jobs for them.
And most importantly, don’t whine about it to the staff of your local IHOP. They’re just as mad about the decision as you, because they have to listen to you bitch about it.
Instead, get mad at the filthy-rich asshole who put them in the position to have to answer for “IHOb” in the first place.