Chains Scramble #AllDayBreakfast

A couple weeks ago, a colleague wrote about the much anticipated #AllDayBreakfast campaign–McDonald’s latest attempt to reverse sliding sales.

As of Oct 5, the all-day breakfast menu has finally arrived, ushering in a new era of breakfast-menus and lots of playful insults and criticism from other major brands with a stake in the breakfast market.

IHOP led the attack on the fast-food giant, dishing out criticism via their Twitter several days before the official launch of #AllDayBreakfast on the McDonald’s Twitter account at 7 p.m. on Oct 5.

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 9.54.32 PM

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 9.55.01 PM

After McDonald’s made their official announcement, the tweets from their 24-hour breakfast rivals just kept coming. In fact, the battle of the brands garnered so much attention that #BreakfastBeef, a hashtag created by Twitter users, began trending.

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 9.57.54 PM

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 9.58.05 PM

IHOP may have been first, but it certainly wasn’t the only brand to poke fun at the campaign. Denny’s chimed in with a funny, less aggressive tone:

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 9.58.58 PM

And even 7-Eleven weighed in with a similar message, although it seems a little out of their market. I have never thought of a gas station as a place I’d like to stop and grab breakfast, but they seem to think they have that reputation, so they joined in too:

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 9.58.32 PM

Dunkin’ Donuts took it a step further and created a hashtag of their own in response to the #AllDayBreakfast campaign. This has the potential to create more engagement than merely using #AllDayBreakfast in their tweets like Denny’s and 7-Eleven, as supporters can do more than just favorite or retweet. However, I question how successful they will be able in playing off another brand’s campaign.

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 9.59.34 PM

Although there were several other major brands that joined the discussion, I’ll end with Carl’s Jr. They, too, developed their own hashtag to play off McDonald’s launch, but their campaign has nothing to do with breakfast. Burgers are their business and they know it:

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 10.01.06 PM

In their tweet, they were able to get their jab in at McDonald’s while also establishing their own hashtag and changing the subject back to their main market: burgers. Like many of these brands, they had several related tweets on the subject as well. However, as with the Dunkin’ Donuts hashtag, I am not sure how much traction the #AllDayBurgers will gain (nor am I sure it was really their intent). Perhaps, the communications team was looking more for a clever response and less for an actual message.

Regardless of intent, I find the different brand approaches interesting. When I saw the IHOP Twitter feed, I thought it was a fake account because of its informal tone and language. I still cannot believe that this is an official company Twitter account, but with more than 200,000 followers, I suppose it is working for them. It was also surprising to see how aggressive the brand appeared against #AllDayBreakfast, especially compared to the other brands who were much more playful.

What do you think of these different approaches? Which brand do you think had the best response and why? Do you like it when brands interact with each other in this way? Let us know what you think in the comments!

This entry was posted in i3Communications and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Chains Scramble #AllDayBreakfast

  1. Megann Jakubek says:

    I think what these companies did on Twitter was a lot of fun. I too am surprised at the use of slang in Ihop’s messages. They must be trying to reach a younger crowd, which I think is a great idea because the restaurant tends to attract an older generation. Breakfast foods will always be a fan-favorite and it’s fun to see the playful competition between these restaurants.

  2. Cattarina Lovins says:

    It’s interesting to see how each brand has handled a new #AllDayBreakfast competitor entering the ring. Each brand employs a reactionary approach, but executes it differently. Brands like 7 Eleven, Denny’s and Dunkin Donuts handled the competition in a much more classy way that doesn’t leave a bad taste in the breakfast-lovers mouth. Those brands acknowledged the new competitor while subtly stating that they did it first. IHOP on the other hand used a much more aggressive approach that actually put down the competitor and came off a little bit mean. It’s important to acknowledge the new competitor, but not to the point when it becomes obvious that the brand feels so threatened by the new competitor that it has to put it down. However, in IHOPs tweets, it was brilliant that they used pop culture references to engage audiences and provide comic relief. It was also smart of other fast food’s brands, like Carl’s Jr., to comment on the situation and use the hashtag so that they could join and be involved in the conversation.

  3. Taylor Holmes says:

    When I first saw Denny’s Tweet, I thought it was rather amusing. Maybe this is because I’m not a fan of McDonalds and of fast food in general, but the fact that these brands are poking fun at each other brightened my day a bit. While I see your point about the unprofessional nature of IHOP’s Twitter account, I think it works in their favor because fewer people would be willing to follow a generic, business-style account for the restaurant. The humor that is injected into the content makes each tweet more worth reading, in my opinion. Despite my enjoyment of these humorous accounts, I do believe that they took it a bit too far. Therefore, Carl’s Jr.’s play on #AllDayBreakfast was the best response.

  4. Taylor Nelson says:

    I think this is actually a very interesting phenomenon, and one that really attests to how powerful social media can be, and the way that is has changed the way brands communicate. If McDonalds had rolled out all day breakfast pre-Twitter, pre-hashtags, do you think there would be such “backlash” against it? I don’t. I think that the informal attitude of social media in general has strongly contributed to this competitiveness. McDonalds even touches on this lighthearted attitude with their new all day breakfast commercials, which pinpoint particular tweets directed at them by customers. As this is their marketing strategy, I actually think it is somewhat genius that IHOP has in turn played off of that.

    That said, I agree with you in your point that it might not work as well for Dunkin’ or Dennys. IHOP jumped on it first, and therefore they seem to own the “counter attack” breakfast branding, if you ask me.

  5. Morgan Rath says:

    I am not a fan of any of these approaches, in particular the iHOP one. As you mentioned, all of the posts are informal and, in my opinion, somewhat catty. I am turned off from all of these. In my opinion, the companies all seem unprofessional. I don’t think it was necessary for posts of this nature to be created. McDonald’s is a different type of restaurant than Denny’s and iHOP, so the All Day Breakfast concept is unique for them. If I had to pick one, I would say that Denny’s handled it best, as it is not as explicitly calling McDonald’s out. The approach is a bit classier. But all-in-all, I disagree with all of these posts.

  6. Kate Sitter says:

    I agree with your insight about the IHOP account being somewhat unprofessional in its response to McDonald’s announcement of the all day breakfast campaign. I think it’s a good idea for brands to engage with the Twittersphere. Twitter is a conducive platform for businesses especially because they can connect directly to consumers in a conversational way. While tweeting in a very unprofessional way is a move to be transparent, I think this is only advisable if the brand already has a reputation for being brazen in tone. IHOP, on the other hand, does not have the reputation already. When you visit, it has much more of a welcoming diner feel. Because of this, my favorite is actually 7-Eleven. I like the professional tone, indicated by the professional punctuation. I think that it effectively conveys businesslike competition.

  7. Erin Mondt says:

    I also agree that the IHOP Twitter account almost looks childish and very unprofessional. I think it’s okay that they addressed McDonald’s #AllDayBreakfast with their first tweet by saying, “Lowkey been serving breakfast all day since 1958.” It might come off as a little harsh, but they definitely got their point across. However, they should have left it at that, instead of putting out tweets that basically said the same exact thing. I like that all these companies are trying to make a clever come back to “one-up” McDonald’s. I don’t think Carl’s Jr. was very successful because almost every restaurant serves burgers all day. I like IHOP’S approach the best, I just think they might have overdone it a little. I do like the competitive approach to all these businesses though, and was honestly surprised I haven’t heard more of my friends talk about McDonald’s campaign.

  8. Jasmine Safaie says:

    I think it’s hilarious that other breakfast food joints chimed in on the matter. Ihop definitely used very relaxed language, or slang you could say. After reading the comments above, I wonder if they used the slang to reach a younger audience, or to make it sound less harsh and more comedic.

  9. Catherine Hahne says:

    IHOP was bragging about the fact that it serves breakfast all day, yet IHOP is a known breakfast restaurant, so why would they have breakfast all day. IHOP pushed their tweets too far, there were ways to say what they said without it sounding like they are hating on McDonalds. McDonalds is a fast food restaurant that would not necessary offer breakfast all day. Pancakes is not in the name of their restaurant so it is not obvious that they would off Breakfast all day.

    Denny’s on the other hand handled the tweets well and were much more professional. Instead of boasting about their all day breakfast, they posted a teasing post.

    All of this tweeting of the fact that McDonalds has all day breakfast and that all of these other restaurants tweeted about it gave more publicity to the fact that McDonald’s does have all day breakfast. I’m sure McDonalds thanks all their competitors for the free publicity.

  10. Elissa Harrison says:

    I honestly love the fact that these organizations all choose to speak out. One thing that seemed to be apparent to me is not only people but companies use twitter to make secret jabs at different organizations. Think back to the high school days when people would sub tweet one another. Your ex just broke up with you so you tweet a dramatic song lyric or your best friend screwed you over so you quote Drake about talking shit. All these are examples of sub tweeting which is what Dunkins, iHop, and Carl Jr all did regarding Mc Donald’s trying to promote it’s all day breakfast. With this company being such a power house, I agree with these companies making a joke out of the situation as well as reminding their customers that they too serve all day breakfast and have been doing it for years! Great post. I would have never known all these different tweets the competitors made without you bringing it to my attention.

  11. Brittany DIerken says:

    When McDonald’s announced #AllDayBreakfast they made it seem as if they invented it in the food industry. Ihop, Denny’s and Dunkin’ Donuts all seemed to be offended by the announcement and chimed in how they have offered all-day breakfast since establishment. McDonald’s claimed originality of an idea that was already practiced by other restaurants.

    Denny’s was very classy in tweeting and kept a sense of professionalism. They were the bigger the person and claimed ownership of #AllDayBreakfast. Ihop’s uncontrollable tweeting was immature and was an example of a teenager’s venting fest. I would not expect this from a corporation. I think Carl’s Jr. integrated the concept very well into their business and was involved in the conversation that gained national attention.

    This kind of interaction amongst brands keeps things interesting and is actually staged in some circumstance to gain attention. Everyone loves a battle or fight via social media. It is a new route to take to gain attention, but businesses need to be careful that the attention is not negative or hurt the brand’s image.

Comments are closed.