An IHOP Restaurants’ campaign that successfully changed people’s perception of the brand as primarily a breakfast dining location and increased burger sales has won the 2019 Grand Ogilvy Award.

The ARF David Ogilvy Awards, which honor the research and analytics insights behind the most successful advertising campaigns, were presented at an event in New York last night.

In addition to the top award, IHOP’s IHOb, International House of Burgers campaign picked up a Gold in the Best Brand Transformation category and Silver in the Retail & Restaurants category. (Read the winning papers here.)

As a brand in the family dining category, IHOP has long been associated with pancakes and breakfast; the challenge of bringing in more consumers at lunchtimes and in the evenings required some new thinking around what was on the menu and what would appeal most at those times.

Consumer research identified burgers as the strongest opportunity to establish credibility and traffic in the post-breakfast hours; accordingly, a new line of Ultimate Steakburgers was developed, based on extensive consumer testing, which outperformed the brand’s original burgers on most metrics.

The subsequent campaign involved IHOP changing its name to IHOb, a move that generated plenty of speculation on media and social – at one point the subject was trending higher on Twitter than Donald Trump’s summit in North Korea – before an announcement a week later that the ‘b’ stood for burger and the Ultimate Steakburger line was unveiled.

“The creative strategy behind it was to convince the public that we take our burgers as seriously as we take our pancakes so, to convey that, we had to make a big statement in a disruptive way,” explained Brad Haley, IHOP’s Chief Marketing Officer.

The results vindicated this approach: brand tracking data showed gains in multiple key metrics, including ‘has great burgers’ and ‘great for a meal during dinner hours’. And sales of burgers quadrupled.

Sourced from ARF