Wanna Hear a Joke About Pizza?

Nevermind, it’s too cheesy. If you didn’t already know, National Pizza Day is February 9th. IHOP is ready to slay the new year with marketing, starting with their Pancizza, which is a combination of a pancake and a pizza.

They unveiled a pancake that comes in a pizza box, it’s diameter is seven inches. It’ll be available in three different flavors, Original Pancake – topped with butter, Cupcake – topped with icing and sprinkles, and Bacon & Cheddar. In addition to that, they come with four syrups, old-fashioned, strawberry, blueberry, and butter-pecan.

It’ll only be available at specific locations, including the Chicagoland area, Dallas, Los Angeles, and New York City and for a specific amount of time, from Friday (the 8th) through Sunday (the 10th). They’re partnering with DoorDash and giving free delivery with the code PANCIZZA if you’re a new customer, and IHOPDELIVERY if you’re returning.

In addition to that, for one day only (Saturday) they’ll be opening an IHOP Pancizzeria, on Bleecker Street, in New York City. There they’ll be giving away free slices on Saturday the 9th.


This Post is Straight Fyre

You’re invited to read this post. And hopefully you’re on top of things or you won’t understand anything whatsoever about it, but if not here’s what you need to watch to catch up. 🔥🔥🔥

What’s the hype about? Why is event planning important (we can help you with that)? Tell me more. I still have yet to watch the Hulu version. But what was wrong with this whole situation. Well the marketing Billy McFarland & Ja Rule threw together was amazing for the Fyre Fest, from the video which makes you want to be there or the supermodels that tweeted an orange square on Instagram promoting it (paid 250k for the posts, at least Kendall Jenner was..over 102mil followers). The marketing of this event was relying mainly on the influencers promoting it which seems all that’s wrong with Instagram. From a video of an island where it wasn’t even hosted (because they mentioned it was Pablo Escobar’s island, and lost it), to some of the top supermodels in the world, and promising an experience that you wouldn’t want to miss out on.

Marketing can be deceptive, as many things in life are. But the event planning for Fyre was an absolute disaster, because Billy (known scam artist and in jail now) made promises that he couldn’t fulfill in the time they wanted to host the festival and kept leading on the consumers, but also his team. Villas turned into FEMA tents, fine dining turned into a slice of cheese on bread (yum), lockers weren’t ready, mattresses were soaked from a earlier storm, artists pulled out, scam, scam, everything about it was a scam.

Without getting too far into details, and again if you haven’t watched them it’s definitely worth the watch, there’s some pretty simple takeaways. Event planning is crucial…and needs proper time and measures taken to make sure your event is everything you’re saying it will be. Marketing? Sure you want to hype up an event or product, but don’t hype it up to be something it isn’t. Being transparent with your marketing and intentions goes a long way with consumers, Billy had many chances to do so and kept stringing EVERYONE along. Be you and people will take notice and appreciate it.


Food, Fast Food

No politics here (yes the government is shutdown and the White House chefs weren’t available). What’s with the spread of McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, and some other fast food joints? The Clemson Tigers were visiting the White House to celebrate their National Championship win. But heck, putting myself in those shoes as a college student (especially a growing football player) I’m all in on that smorgasbord of fast food served on silver platters! Oh McNuggets and as many dipping sauces as you want, don’t mind if I do. A few quarter pounders, baconators, and heaps of fries, SURE WHY NOT.

I get this isn’t a ritzy dinner like other teams that have visited, but you have to make the most of the situation you’re in. That ties directly to running your business. You may not always be in the best situation when it comes to sales, marketing, management, but find the silver lining. Speaking of silver lining, some nice exposure on a national/global level for these brands seeing as every news outlet has reported on this. And here at Ciconte Consulting you bet we’re going to partake in the insanity.


Shop Small

Happy Small Business Saturday! This day means a lot to the Ciconte Consulting team because we are a small business and frequently assist small businesses with our services. What makes small businesses so unique? The time that goes into getting them up and running. The long hours worked. The vibrance it brings to a community. Stimulating local economy. And these are only naming a few. Brewpoint Coffee in Elmhurst, IL is actually letting other small businesses in some extra space they have to help further the promotion of their businesses. A fine example of how small businesses band together because they’re apart of the same community. So on Small Business Saturday make sure to shop locally and more importantly shop small. We are here for all small businesses, contact us for your marketing/event needs.


Green Pancakes and Ham?


Well, not quite, but IHOP is rolling out new Dr. Seuss inspired menu items with the tagline, “Whether you’re a Grinch or a Who, we’ve got tasty treats for you.” They are partnering with The Grinch, a new animated movie coming out on November 9. It’s a modern twist on the live-action Jim Carrey version as well as the original, How the Grinch Stole Christmas from 1966. In this promotion, IHOP also used a play on words, saying that it will grow your appetite three times, just like the Grinch’s heart growing. These limited edition menu items include a lot of green and mini red candy hearts. Since they’re the International House of Pancakes, it makes sense that they would have green pancakes for this special. They’re called the Grinch’s Green Pancakes and are topped with cream cheese icing, red candy hearts, and green whipped cream. Next, they rolled out a drink that would have anybody in Whoville’s mouthwatering: Minty Who-Hot Chocolate. Although the hot chocolate itself isn’t green, it has mint syrup in it and is also topped with green whipped cream and candy hearts. If you don’t have a sweet tooth and you enjoy a heartier breakfast (although it’s the only one without the candy hearts) they also introduced the Who-Roast Beast Omelet. It’s filled with hash browns, shredded beef, Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese, and a jalapeno-onion blend. It’s topped with cheese, spicy barbeque sauce, as well as a Serrano pepper. They also included two things on the kid’s menu for the Little Whos, one meal and one drink. They added a smaller version of the same hot chocolate, and a Mt. Crumpet Kids Combo. Although it sounds like it could be a mountain of pancakes, it’s just one green pancake with the same toppings, but also comes with one scrambled egg, a link of sausage, and a strip of bacon. They also brought back the deal that lets kids under 12 eat free from 4-10pm, so bring the kiddos along and get in the holiday spirit!


Trick or Treat Yo’Self (To McDonald’s)

One of McDonald’s most famous sales promotions is their annual game of Monopoly with the peel-off pieces, but did you know they’re also doing something similar for Halloween this year? Their new game of chance, called “Trick. Treat. Win!” has instant prizes, like a free medium fries, a Big Mac, items from McCafé, and various other items on their menu. Like Monopoly, they also have bigger prizes, like a brand new 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe, trips, cash, and smaller giveaways like speakers and headphones. Not only are they getting more people to buy participating items to get the chance to win, but they are also increasing their app traffic, meaning they will have more people using their app. To get this to happen, they made a majority of the peel-off pieces a certain number of “coins.” Those coins are then turned into entries to win the grand prizes and have to be submitted through the app. If your mouth is now watering at the thought of McDonald’s, or your wallet is begging you to win a prize, some of the participating items with the peel-offs include the Filet-O-Fish, hashbrowns, a Quarter Pounder with Cheese, and a medium fountain drink. To get double the chance to win, 20 piece nuggets and large fries both come with two game pieces.


It’s Bigger Than Baseball

(Per Orioles Twitter )

This is a marketing home run! YABO! The Baltimore Orioles are wearing Braille jerseys to honor the blind, this is for the National Federation of the Blind Night. So cool and a reminder that it’s bigger than baseball. This will be held on September 18th against the Toronto Blue Jays, then post game the jerseys will be autographed and auctioned off online, the benefits will go directly to the foundation.

We’ve seen it a lot more in recent times but the MLB (Major League Baseball) and their teams are making a greater effort to get everyone involved in the sport, no matter who you are. I’ve been around baseball and love the sport. The game is for everyone! So big ups to the Baltimore Orioles and other clubs holding nights for fans, and foundations.


Take a Seat

That VR (virtual reality) is so hot right now! Being a company that plans events, or any event planners should be pretty pleased with AllSeated launching a VR tool. Why?! Take a peek AllSeated VR Preview

So essentially with the VR tool you can experience a virtual walkthrough of what your venue could possibly look like per your request. “Over 100 venues are enabled for the new VR platform, AllSeated says, and projects having more than 1,000 venues in their VR library by 2019.” HUGE! The whole close your eyes and picture what this space would look like is very much possible through the power of VR and with your eyes open.

This project still has ways to go given the addition of venues and certain types of furniture and designs. But to even catch a glimpse of what your dream event space will look like is a true eye opener. So take a seat and experience the venue with AllSeated VR.


I’ve Guac you Covered

From the wise words of Dj Khaled, “Anotha one.” You might be wondering another what? Another event flop. This time, it was brought to you by the widely beloved Chipotle. Tuesday, July 31, was National Avocado Day, so naturally, Chipotle decided to give away free guacamole (which is regularly a whopping $2.05 in the Chicagoland area.) The only catch was that you had to order online or via their app, and use the code “AVOCADO” at checkout. Apparently they weren’t ready for how many people would take advantage of this $2 off discount, because when I was ready to order lunch on Tuesday, the app was down, as was their website. After refreshing a couple of times and then Googling it, the app and website were down for everybody. After calling, our local Chipotle promised to honor the deal if you showed a screenshot of the app being down at checkout.

After finally getting to the checkout, the employees handed us a bag of chips and container of guacamole, and looked confused when we said that’s not what we wanted. The deal originally stated, “Free guac on your entree OR a free side of guac OR a regular order of chips and guac with an entree.” After explaining that, the cashier charged us for regular bowls instead of the extra $2.05 and free chips. Although the employees should have known exactly what the deal was, they cooperated and were very nice.

Besides the aforementioned issue, there was another one, and knowing Chipotle and their track record it’s not that surprising: a foodborne illness outbreak. The wide range of 200-500 people in Ohio reported getting sick after eating at that Chipotle location. They are being interviewed and tested by the health department.

To deal with the app crashing, Chipotle extended the deal. On August 1, Chipotle announced, “Guac is still not extra” and gave away free guac with mobile orders for an extra day. Guac might not have been extra, but their damage control was.


Build-A-Backup Plan

In event planning something you always have to do is have a backup plan and roll with the punches. Build-A-Bear is a good example of a company who recently did that. Recently, they had planned an event and advertised it on social media called “Pay Your Age” day. It was just like it sounded, you pay your age for any bear in the store, up to 29-years old, so if you were over 29, the most it would cost is $29, and if you were under one, it would still cost $1. All you had to do to get the special price on July 12 was to sign up for their online club, which is also free. Well, that’s not really all you had to do, I can’t forget waiting in lines full of kids for hours on end. The lengthy lines caused the stores to close and send people home with $15 vouchers, but no bears.

After many angry customers posted about their bad experiences on social media and complained to the company, Build-A-Bear announced a new promotion: Count Your Candles. This new promotion only works for one bear, the Birthday Treat Bear, which is originally $14. It is for children 14 and younger, which makes sense with that price. The new deal works like this, you still need to be a member, but instead of waiting in long lines and getting any bear you want, you get the birthday bear, any day during your birth month, for the age you’re turning. Build-A-Bear worked fast to bring out this new promotion, which was good, but a better thing would be to plan out the original event better. Like author Alan Lakein once said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”