How IHOP used augmented reality to drive repeat business

Industry :
Capabilities : Mobile, Social

The Challenge

IHOP wanted something new on the menu. It had to be a new experience that would satisfy the hunger of their large and loyal fan base for fun and family togetherness. The goal was to get them sharing even more about the brand online. And bring them back to the restaurant again soon for more.

The Idea

MRM//McCann developed an augmented reality based social promotion that would entertain IHOP guests at their table with characters based on popular breakfast menu items—called the Breakfast Bunch. This in-restaurant AR experience is the first of its kind.

We started with a plan promoting The Holiday Season and unique beverages at IHOP, and introduced new original characters called 'The Breakfast Bunch’ to target only their fans— a loyal audience already within their digital ecosystem. And we began sharing original content across all of IHOP’s social properties, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, YouTube and Foursquare. This seeded the excitement and anticipation of the in-restaurant experience.

This content drove IHOP fans to download an app we created. The app delivered four original video’s that were triggered off the syrup caddy at every table, one every week in December. Giving customers reasons to come back each week, and enjoy an entertaining augmented reality experience right at their table.

The fact that we could prove introducing AR into the restaurant experience drove repeat business was a big win for us.

The Execution

    The Results

    We set out to prove IHOP guests’ appetite for AR and found that pairing original content with entertaining in-restaurant experiences drove their online community in-restaurant and then repeat business back to the restaurant.

    The client agreed, saying: “The fact that we could prove introducing AR into the restaurant experience drove repeat business was a big win for us.”

    Indeed, the AR Pilot drove attributable repeat guest visits to IHOP, with 4% of users coming back the very next day to experience The Breakfast Bunch again.