The annals of What Were They Thinking? are long and make for difficult reading.
The latest chapter, however, involves something that is as perplexing as it is, well, very perplexing.
It was Mother's Day. Most brands would offer some sort of anodyne celebration..Why antagonize moms, after all? Where does that ever get you?
Yet up popped IHOP to break the mold. Or, perhaps, to leave a moldy odor behind.
You see, the pancake makers took to Twitter
and offered the image of an ultrasound scan.
It featured not an embryo, but a pile of pancakes.
This was accompanied by the lyrical words:
If you have pancakes in your tum tum, does that make you a pancake mum mum? Happy Mother's Day to ALL the moms out there!
I regret to say the critics of Twitter weren't impressed.
I confess to having had a glass of rosé, yet, this is def weird, no?
Weird was one of the more polite descriptions for what some might describe as torturous or even grotesque.
Naturally, I contacted IHOP for its views and will update, should I receive word.
What some might find odd is that, despite the torrent of negative reactions on Twitter, the tweet has remained live for 18 hours. (At the time of writing.)
Some companies delegate their social media to those -- possibly younger types -- who, the companies believe, understand the social media thing better.
A more important question is whether they understand your brand better. Any and every communication from your brand may have a greater effect than you think.
You have to pay attention.
It's hard to see how this tweet helps the IHOP brand. It's very hard to imagine a mom who would find this attempt at humor even remotely edifying.
(Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.)