In-N-Out’s London burger stunt was a lot of hot, greasy air

In-N-Out Burger, the cult burger joint loved universally by Californians, came to London today. As the name of the chain may suggest, the visit was brief and its impact insubstantial.

Inside Estancia Brasil, a steak house in North London, In-N-Out was scheduled to serve a limited number of its famous burgers for four hours only, starting at 11 a.m. In terms of turnout, it was a success: Hundreds of fans turned up, and it had handed out its last wristband by 12.31 p.m. — despite giving a closing time of 3 p.m. 

The brand doesn’t do social media. Its skeletal Facebook page has over 2.9 million followers and no posts, and it hasn’t tweeted since 2011. Instead, it has been seeking attention with little more than some wristbands and a handful of staff.

The brand had advertised the pop-up stunt — its third since 2012 — with a small print ad in the Camden New Journal, a local London paper. It was then picked up by several media outlets including Time Out and The Sun, which livestreamed direct from the queue today.

That broadcast racked up 2,300 views while a similar Facebook Live video from Business Insider has over 117,000 views and counting,10 times Business Insider’s average, which head of video Justin Maiman, puts at around 19,000 views.

But while publishers were happy to do In-N-Out’s publicity for it, it had little traction on social media. If you’re measuring via engagement, In-N-Out missed the mark completely.

According to analytics firm Brandwatch, the chain had just over 200 mentions today on Twitter, and 470 in total this week — hardly enough to trend on the platform. Mentioned peaked at 11 a.m. at a rate of just 45 per hour.

The top tweet was a timelapse of the queue from director Oliver Kember, though that generated just seven retweets and five likes.

The sentiment was mixed too. Between the shots of wristbands, many were cheesed off — saying that the event was poorly managed.

Lasting impact once the newspapers are tomorrow’s birdcage liners? In-N-Out-N-Not-Much-Else.

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