I have to admit that when I learned IHOP really wasn’t changing their name to IHOB, my first reaction was, “Wow, that is really clever!”
Then I realized two things:
1. I mistakenly thought the B in the supposed named change stood for “breakfast,” not “burgers” so really didn’t even get the point of the fake name change message.
2. Sales always beat clever. The point of good advertising isn’t to impress, it is to influence, to sell things. Will IHOP sell more burgers and more food because of the campaign?
In 1989 there was a very zen advertising program for a car company that people often talked about. But evidently they didn’t buy more of that manufacturer’s cars. (The ad has been called the most disappointing car commercial of all time).
Clever is a good thing for getting attention, but if that’s all it gets, then your advertising isn’t working.