- IHOP today is giving listeners of social audio app Clubhouse a chance to listen to the sound of cooking bacon as part of its rollout of Steakhouse Premium Bacon. Visitors to its @IHOPofficial channel on Clubhouse will hear only the sound of sizzling bacon all day, per a press release.
- "People have always talked about bacon in ultra-sensorial ways so to launch bacon that is bigger than ever, it made sense to play up a core part of the sensorial experience," an IHOP spokesperson said in an email to Marketing Dive. The steakhouse bacon is five times thicker than IHOP's regular bacon.
- The restaurant chain's sensory experience on Clubhouse comes as more brands test the invite-only app in their promotions. While the app is still officially in testing, it expanded its user base from 600,000 in December to 2 million the following month.
IHOP's promotion for its premium bacon includes a quirky experiment with Clubhouse, which mostly hosts audio-only discussion rooms that let people drop in on live conversations. Given that Clubhouse has a small user base and its discussion rooms are limited to 5,000 people at a time, IHOP isn't going for broad reach with its daylong sensory experience. Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) content including ambient sounds has become more popular in the past few years as people seek ways to relieve stress. If social media users start talking about the new menu item, the restaurant chain can generate online buzz.
"As guests begin to return to restaurants, we know they're looking for broadly appealing and familiar comfort foods, as well as new ways to enjoy classic favorites, and bacon is the perfect option that fits both needs," Jay Johns, president of IHOP, said in a statement. The premium bacon's rollout is part of IHOP's introduction of a "bacon obsession" menu that includes a bacon burger, BLT, candied bacon pancakes, a maple bacon milkshake and waffle sundae with Oreo cookies and bacon.
IHOP's sensory experience on Clubhouse comes as more brands seek to be early movers on a platform with high growth potential. As other social media apps grow more crowded with advertising, Clubhouse offers a way to stand out and experiment with different kinds of creative. IHOP also isn't alone among restaurant businesses that are expanding their presence on Clubhouse. Restaurant Brands International (RBI), the parent company of Burger King, two months ago began hosting chat sessions with a rotating group of speakers, an indication of Clubhouse's potential as a marketing tool.