WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM THE “IHOB” MARKETING CAMPAIGN
Going viral is a coveted position on the Internet.
Businesses of all sizes work tirelessly to create marketing campaigns that will put their product and company in the spotlight. They can’t control what the reaction on social media will be, however, so creativity and elements of surprise are constantly tested and measured in an effort to be seen. This is known as guerilla marketing.
Recently, a restaurant giant tried this tactic and proved to be successful. If you don’t know about IHOP’s Internet-shattering campaign, here’s a little recap:
On June 4, IHOP released a teaser video of their new logo:
For 60 pancakin’ years, we’ve been IHOP. Now, we’re flippin’ our name to IHOb. Find out what it could b on 6.11.18. #IHOb pic.twitter.com/evSxKV3QmT— IHOb (@IHOb) June 4, 2018
Social media went crazy trying to figure out what the announcement could “b”, many guessing that breakfast, bacon and brunch were reasonable options. IHOP surprised everyone, though, when they revealed that they were shifting away from their traditional breakfast hours to serve all-day fare, with burgers becoming the star of the menu. That’s right, the “b” stands for burgers.
Twitter followers and competitors alike joined in on blitzing the chain’s “identity crisis,” changing their names on Twitter and logos.
As much as we love our pancakes, we'd never change our name to Whatapancake— Whataburger® (@Whataburger) June 11, 2018
sorry, old Burger King can’t come to the phone right now...— Burger King (@BurgerKing) June 11, 2018
Remember when you were like 7 and thought changing your name to Thunder BearSword would be super cool?— Wendy's (@Wendys) June 11, 2018
Like that, but our cheeseburgers are still better.
brb changing my name to Netflib— Netflix US (@netflix) June 11, 2018
Even though most of the reaction on social media was making fun of IHOP, the attention and exposure only increased the virality of the campaign.
So, what tactics can you also employ to make your marketing campaign go viral? Here are steps you can take to generate buzz for your business.
1. BUILD ANTICIPATION
No matter the size of your audience, produce content that will entice your current followers as well as your ideal market. Building anticipation will increase the suspense surrounding your product or service announcement and excite your customers until the product or service rolls out. IHOb used multiple teaser videos as well as hinting at what the “b” could stand for with far-out guesses.
No, the b does not stand for Bill… although all Bills are welcome. Except Bill—you know who you are. #IHOb— IHOb (@IHOb) June 7, 2018
2. MAKE THE ANNOUNCEMENT WORTH IT
Your reveal of the product or service should live up to the hype of your campaign. Utilize various platforms and channels, like email, social media and on-site events, to make the announcement and maximize your reach. IHOb exhausted all of these options, in addition to using television and radio advertising.
3. RUN WITH THE MOMENTUM
Keep advertising after the big release. Run with the momentum you have to continue convincing your audience to try your product or service if they were hesitant before.
When it comes to USDA Choice, we keep it 💯. Come try one of our 7 new completely re-burgered burgers ASAb. #IHOb pic.twitter.com/zvuJ5eKskP— IHOb (@IHOb) June 12, 2018
IHOb was able to take their competitor’s cheeky comments in stride, and it ultimately helped propel their marketing campaign even further into viral content.