You can't pull off a publicity stunt like the International House of Pancakes'and not catch some grief from your rivals.
IHOP's splashy but temporary renaming to IHOb is burning up the Twitter trending charts and drawing smack talk from the likes of Wendy's, Denny's and even beef sandwich-fillings brand Steak-umm. You could even say the competition is hobbing mad...
Denny's managed to name-check HBO's Westworld with an imaginary conversation where a boy asks, "Grandpa, do you remember the Great Burger Wars?" and the grandfather responds, "lol no I was chillin drinkin milkshakes and trying to make sense of Westworld."
Wendy's, the fast-food chain known for square-shaped burgers, responded to a fan asking if it was going to let IHOb sell burgers on its block. Wendy's dropped this burn: "Not really afraid of the burgers from a place that decided pancakes were too hard."
Wendy's wasn't done after that. It also tweeted, "Remember when you were like 7 and thought changing your name to Thunder BearSword would be super cool? Like that, but our cheeseburgers are still better."
IHOb isn't rising to Wendy's bait, tweeting back, "We don't want any beef with you, we just want to share our beef with the world."
Even breakfast-themed chain Waffle House has gotten in on the action by responding to a fan and tweeting, "Even though we serve delicious burgers... we know our roots."
Steak-umm, a maker of frozen sandwich meat, decided to give the whole name change thing a go by renaming itself Cake-umm and altering its Twitter header image to match. It tweeted, "dear internet we have officially changed our name to Cake-umm because Steak-umm just wasn't doing it for us anymore or something."
IHOP/IHOb responded to the move with "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."
White Castle joined the fun, too, with its own declaration: "We are excited to announce that we will be switching our name to Pancake Castle."
Burger King went a little further than just threatening a name change. It altered its Twitter handle, logo and main image to reflect the new moniker "Pancake King." Yes, Burger King actually has pancakes on its breakfast menu.
But not all burger chains are willing to embrace the flip. Fast-food chain Whataburger chimed in with, "As much as we love our pancakes, we'd never change our name to Whatapancake."
That's actually too bad because it's an amazing name.
While IHOP is taking a ribbing from food-related rivals, it's also attracting attention from other corners of the world. Netflix joked, "brb changing my name to Netflib." It then made a seriously introspective observation: "what is a burger if not a meat pancake between two other pancakes." Deep.
Professional baseball team the Philadelphia Phillies went to the trouble of making its own name change announcement video that turns the MLB franchise into the "bhillies."
last week before finally revealing it Monday. The temporary shift is turning out to be an effective publicity stunt aimed at advertising the restaurant's new burger menu.
Now IHOb just has to ride out the Twitter sarcasm wave and reap the hoped-for rewards.
First published June 11, 11:33 a.m. PT.
Update, 12:20 p.m. PT: Adds Netflix and Phillies responses.
Update, 2:40 p.m. PT: Adds Burger King reaction.
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