Pancakes and cartoons: if you ask me, indulging in these two guilty pleasures sounds like an ideal way to kick off a Sunday morning! A few weeks ago, I visited a local IHOP restaurant to chow down on some delicious chocolate chip pancakes, and instead of walking into an ordinary IHOP, I was presented with an atmosphere that was much friendlier and more inviting. The reason for the kid-friendly ambience? A marketing campaign promoting the newly released, animated movie, “Despicable Me” at all IHOP locations.
For more information about this great example of cobranding, the effectiveness of promotional apparel and why you should see “Despicable Me,” keep reading!
From enormous banners hanging above the tables, to a wait staff clad in “Despicable Me” promotional apparel, to limited edition menus and dishes, the restaurant was transformed into an interactive advertisement for the full-length flick. Rather than experiencing a typical IHOP visit, I was enthralled by the upbeat, “party” vibe- streamers, witty posters and catchy names for exclusive menu items all contributed to an enjoyable meal, and the servers clearly enjoyed the change of scenery as well. They were smiling, joking with youth patrons about the promotion and proudly wearing their adorable imprinted t-shirts. Their positive attitude was contagious, and the restaurant did a great job of using promotional products to generate buzz among its clientele about the movie’s release.
The movie, for those of you who have not heard about it, revolves around a conniving villain (voiced by the hilarious Steve Carell) who hatches a plan to steal the moon from the sky. His evil plan is set back, however, when he meets three young girls who idolize him and view him as a father figure. So does the character go through with his heist? I guess you’ll have to see the movie to find out!