Some things just don't land. And, in marketing, we now have the internet to show us what not to do for our campaigns.

IHOP’s audience isn’t pleased with the Pancake House’s Mother’s Day tweet. Is it a negative-attention campaign or just a straight up fail? Here’s what we can learn from their mistakes.

IHOP's bizarre marketing tactics anger their audience


Recently, IHOP posted a tweet for Mother’s Day that their audience truly hated. And always remember, the internet has no chill. People let IHOP know loudly that they were not on board with this direction of marketing. The tweet did, however, see engagement far above their average.

The copy reads: “If you have pancakes in your tum tum, does that make you a pancake mum mum? Happy Mother’s Day to ALL the moms out there!”

Twitter reacted with cringe, replying with horrified sentiments about how fully IHOP missed the mark. And, this isn’t the first time IHOP misread their target audience. During their “IHOb” campaign, IHOP claimed to have changed their name to IHOb, the International House of Burgers. It was not well received. But, IHOP later came to say that the name change was a marketing stunt created to direct people’s attention to their burger menu options. Hmm. They succeeded in gaining attention, but at what cost? Most people were honestly just confused by the end of it.

This leaves one to wonder — is the ‘Pancakes in a Uterus’ tweet another stab at making negative attention work? Or was it just a social media fail? Either way, we can learn some things from IHOP — stay true to your brand voice, don’t confuse your audience, and negative attention is usually not what you want.