IHOP features new loyalty program, ‘Let’s Put a Smile on Your Plate’ campaign

New campaign launches as pancake chain introduces agency of record, Pereira O’Dell

IHOP introduced “Let’s Put a Smile on Your Plate,” a new campaign in collaboration with Pereira O’Dell, its recently-selected, creative agency of record. The official launch will take place on April 11. New ad spots will appear on linear OTT television for 30 and 15 seconds each. Pereira O’Dell will manage all creative agency record duties from strategy to campaign work.

Launching a feel-good campaign

The red smile that’s found on IHOP’s logo will fare prominently moving forward. It will appear first on ads, then in restaurants, outdoor advertising and events.

The genesis of the red smile idea came from the funny face pancakes with chocolate chips that IHOP serves. In addition, the family-dining chain had previously featured the song “When You’re Smiling” by Louis Armstrong.

Now, the brand’s first ad spot under the Let’s Put a Smile on Your Plate campaign will feature IHOP’s recently-launched loyalty program. The film shows diners partaking in various meals. In the background, a modern rendition of the song Louis Armstrong made famous is heard playing.

“The use of custom music to bridge nostalgia and contemporary, while bringing emotion to the spot—is an element that IHOP can always stand for, like a smile being delivered to a customer,” according to the brand’s announcement.

“For over 60 years, IHOP has been serving up smiles with our pancakes, burgers, omelettes, and more,” said Kieran Donahue, chief marketing officer at IHOP. “In the new creative, Pereira O’Dell really captured the feelings guests have when they dine at IHOP, including a sense of togetherness, belonging, nostalgia, and joy.”

Putting a smile on a new creative relationship

“IHOP is one of the few brands that everyone can smile about,” said Natalie Nymark, president, West, Pereira O’Dell. “Let’s Put a Smile on Your Plate’ is a campaign that will come to life across IHOP’s advertising and marketing, menu, off-premise, and in the everyday dining experience.”


Furthermore, new menu items, including Extra Cheesy Omelettes and Protein Pancakes, will feature in new spots. The ad spots will also put the spotlight on the craft behind the food, as they center around the griddle, where “IHOP’s joy commences,” noted the pancake chain.

Rob Lambrechts, chief creative officer at Pereira O’Dell, commenting on gaining the IHOP’s business, said, “For good luck before the final presentation, I brought my 10-year-old daughter to IHOP and when the server put down the smiling pancakes in front of her, she just lit up. Seeing her smile, I knew we had it right.”

In addition, the campaign will also include online video (OLV) and paid social on TikTok, Snap, Meta, Twitter, and Yelp. IHOP awarded Pereira O’Dell with the IHOP business through a competitive, creative review, managed by MediaLink.

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