IHOP goes IHOb because pancakes aren't enough

Don't freak out. It's only temporary.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
2 min read

IHOP's marketing team should be treating itself to some vanilla-spice pancakes with extra syrup right about now. The restaurant chain, famous for its breakfast offerings, playfully riled up its fans online last week by promising to change its name from IHOP to IHOb. And it followed through. Sort of. 

Welcome to the International House of Burgers. IHOP posted an announcement video to Twitter saying, "Dear Internet, we abbreciate your batience. Now let's see who guessed right. B-hold!!!!!"

The name-change tease is all about promoting the chain's new lineup of hamburger offerings, including versions called Cowboy BBQ and Mega Monster. The IHOP website has adopted the branding along with the message, "Our new burgers are so good, we changed our name."

The IHOP flagship restaurant in Hollywood got a new sign to reflect the name change, which pancake fans will be glad to know is temporary. The official IHOP Twitter account (which has switched to "IHOb" for the moment), retweeted a video showing the signage changeover. 

The IHOP/IHOb move should be studied in marketing classes as a prime example of how teasing fans on the internet can lead to big publicity returns. Just as IHOP trended on Twitter last week, now IHOb is making a splash.

While some Twitter users seemed genuinely upset about the prospect of a name change, most joined in the conversation as a form of fun, speculating that the "b" could mean anything from "breakfast" to "bitcoin."

IHOP issued a press release, which we will quote a section from verbatim: "Also, burgers burgers burgers. Burgerin' burgers burgers. Reburgered burgers burgers burgers burgers burgers burgers. Burger burgerings burgers burgers burgers. Burgerin' burgers burgers. Moreover, burgers burgered burgers burgers. Burgers burgers burgerin' burgers burgers burgers burgers burgers burgers burgers burgers burgers burgerin' burgers."