Make room for IHOP's latest invention, Cereal Pancakes

Droga5 campaign uses Child Executive Officer to remind adults of fun Saturday morning breakfasts.

Only a child could pitch this breakfast combo without alerting the food police. 

IHOP’s new breakfast menu of pancakes with cereal—we’re talking Cap’n Crunch and Lucky Charms caliber of cereal—features a "child executive officer" who enthralls a boardroom of adults with her genius idea.

Two commercials, by Droga5, New York, feature the child exec showing the grown-ups how to put some fun back in breakfast with Cereal Pancakes. She also logically instructs them to authorize a kids eat free promotion "because kids don’t have any money."

Brad Haley, the chief marketing officer at  IHOP, based in Glendale, Calif., said the chain’s Cereal Pancakes could be seen as an "antidote to the ‘adulting’ phenomenon," where the mundane and responsible skills of life are eventually learned by newly minted grown-ups.

"We see them simply as the delicious combination of two of America’s favorite breakfast foods that we didn’t know we needed," said Haley in a statement. "What’s also cool is that they are just as fun to look at as they are to eat."

The limited-time cereal pancakes menu, available through April 12, went through focus groups at IHOP. "One of the main things they told us was that it made them feel nostalgic for those Saturday mornings watching cartoons and eating cereal when they were kids," said Haley.

That’s exactly the sentiment Droga5 tapped into with the campaign. To tap into America’s inner child, the campaign centered around an actual child. 

In one spot, the child executive officer walks across a boardroom table, wearing pants, a jacket and tasseled loafers, solving the dilemma of pancakes or cereals for breakfast. The spot ends with the executive committee jumping on board and into a cereal pit.

In the second spot, the CEO scrolls through a PowerPoint of menu items, that show pancakes not only topped with some of America’s most notorious cereal options, but blue sparkle sauce. The last slide of her presentation shows an actual water slide.

The Cereal Pancakes promotion includes Cereal Shakes, too.

IHOP partnered with Quaker Foods and General Mills in selecting some of the most iconic kids’ cereal brands. In addition to Lucky Charms and Cap’n Crunch, the chain is incorporating Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Crunch Berries and Magical Marshmallow Kids cereal into the lineup.

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