IHOP Switches IPG Agencies, Hires Campbell Ewald L.A.

After Four Years With Dailey, Pancake Chain Aims to Move 'at Warp Speed'

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IHOP logo Credit: IHOP
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IHOP is hungry for another Interpublic Group agency's creative approach.

The pancake chain has picked Campbell Ewald L.A. as its new creative agency, replacing Dailey L.A. after a four-year run.

"Those years with Dailey took our work very far forward. It was time to build on that success and pause and think about what's the best way to take it onto the next level," Kirk Thompson, senior VP-Marketing, IHOP Restaurants, said in an interview. "We needed to do everything we were doing well at warp speed."

The change comes after a multi-agency review that took place entirely within IPG, Mr. Thompson said.

"We thought about other agencies and other resources within IPG before we even thought about going outside of the system," he said, adding that the 58-year old chain wants to build on what it has been doing.

For IHOP, breakfast competition has been heating up. Denny's, for example, just came out with a new pancake recipe, while McDonald's has been selling breakfast throughout the day since October. At the same time, potential patrons are being more influenced than ever with messages across TV, print, radio, digital and social.

IHOP has changed agencies a number of times in recent years. It worked with IPG's McCann L.A. from 2002 through 2007, MDC Partners' Vitro from 2007 to 2010, then returned to McCann L.A. from 2010 to 2012 before working with Dailey from 2012 until this switch.

IHOP is currently advertising its line of "Paradise Pancakes" for the summer. It has also been promoting itself as the home of Breakfast All Day.

Campbell Ewald's first work on the brand should break in late September and is expected to include a new tagline, which Mr. Thompson declined to share. IHOP's new work will also include Hispanic advertising led by sociedAD, part of Campbell Ewald.

"Many of us on the Campbell Ewald team have cherished memories of eating at IHOP with our families and friends and we're thrilled to bring this overwhelming love that guests and fans have for the iconic brand to life through the creative," Campbell Ewald CEO Kevin Wertz said in a statement provided by IHOP.

IHOP will continue to work with other IPG agencies as well, MRM/McMCann on digital and social and BPN on media strategy and planning.

Despite the brand's longevity, Mr. Thompson said IHOP will not be using the nostalgic approach restaurants including Subway and Chili's have tried this year. Instead, he called the brand "58 years young."

The new marketing approach comes a year after IHOP updated its logo after 20 years, making it include the idea of a smile.

IHOP's U.S. same-store sales, or sales at longstanding locations, rose 1.5% in the first quarter after climbing 4.5% last year. Soon, investors will know how the chain fared in the latest period. DineEquity, the parent company of IHOP and Applebee's, plans to report second-quarter results on Aug. 3.

DineEquity spent nearly $242.2 million on U.S. measured media last year, according to Kantar Media. Applebee's, the larger of the two chains, gets the bigger bite of that spending.