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.

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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.

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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:

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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!

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4 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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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