Tim Hortons Roll up the Rim promo rolls out in U.S.

One of Canada's best-known retail promotions is moving south of the border. After two years of building its market share in the United States, Tim Horton Donuts is launching its popular 'Roll up the Rim to Win' campaign south of the...

One of Canada’s best-known retail promotions is moving south of the border. After two years of building its market share in the United States, Tim Horton Donuts is launching its popular ‘Roll up the Rim to Win’ campaign south of the 49th parallel.

The promotion has been running for 13 years in Canada. While there was considerable temptation to introduce the promotion early in Tim Hortons’ U.S. launch, the Oakville, Ont.-based company wanted to hold off until it had achieved a sizable and stable customer base, says Cathy Whelan-Molloy, Tim Hortons’ director of U.S. marketing.

‘Roll up the Rim was originally introduced not as a promotion to entice new customers, but to reward our loyal customers,’ she says. ‘We wanted to make sure we laid the groundwork and make sure Americans associated Tim Hortons with great coffee before we introduced Roll up the Rim.’

The month-long promotion is running simultaneously in Canada and the U.S. with support from television spots created by Toronto-based Enterprise Creative Selling. However, while the Canadian television spot plays on Roll-up-the-Rim’s unique Canuck identity, the U.S. spot continues to build on Tim Hortons’ positioning as a morning coffee destination.

The U.S. campaign features an exuberant ‘morning person’ performing gymnastics in her office. Her excitement is fueled both by her morning shot of Tim Hortons coffee as well as by the fact that she won a mini-van in the giveaway.

With 120 locations in Detroit, Mich., Columbus, Ohio and areas of West Virginia and Maine, Tim Hortons now has a substantial enough customer base to make Roll-up-the Rim worthwhile, says Doug Poad, vice-president, business director and strategic planner with Enterprise.

‘Our research showed that had we introduced (Roll up the Rim) earlier, people would have been asking ‘Hey you say you have this great coffee, but if you are using this gimmick to get me to try it, just how good can it be?”

From Karen Howe’s dining table: Creativity, COVID and Cannes

ICYMI, The Township's founder gathers the best of the best campaigns and trends so far.

Cannes Base Camp

By Karen Howe

I’m attending Cannes from the glory of my dining room table. There’s not a palm tree in sight, yet inspiration and intel are present in abundance.

Cannes Lions is a global cultural pulse check. The social course correction in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and BLM has delivered far greater diversity in the judging panels as well as the work. And we are all better for it.

I’m proud to say that creativity defeated COVID, which speaks to its power. Great work and big ideas flourished, despite unimaginable odds.

The work from the past two years spans a vast emotional range. From the profundity of Dove’s “Courage is Beautiful” to the hyper exuberance of Burberry’s “Festive,” they are opposite ends of the spectrum, but each answered a need in us.

Take note, the ascendency of gaming cannot be understated. Smart brands have embraced the channel. It makes sense, because gamers participate to meet others around the world, not just to play. And they represent a huge and powerful community. That’s why QSR Wendy’s gamified their iconic gal in RPG’s Feast of Legends.

Burger King sponsored the unknown Stevenage Football Club, transforming the team into online heroes and vaulting BK into the fray at the same time. Once again, the brand embedded itself in culture.

The birth of gaming tourism arrived when Xbox snuggled up to travel guides and created a brilliant baby: a travel guide for gaming worlds. It, too, embedded itself in culture.

From the standpoint of social good, Reporter Without Borders showed how it worked with Mindcraft for its “Uncensored Library” to bypass press censorship, with Minecraft providing a loophole to a space where young people could be educated. It provided youth with a powerful tool to fight oppression: truth.

COVID changed us in unexpected ways. We learned how to pay attention again and there was a notable lack of 30-second commercials. Instead, longer format content thrived. Apple’s WFH was seven minutes long. Entertainment reigned king, so we find ourselves returning to our advertising roots.

Seeing competitive brands form partnerships was one of this year’s other great surprises. The brilliantly simple “Beer Cap Project” by Aguila to reduce binge-drinking saw the brand reach out to competitive beers to join in. Aguila put incentivizing (keyword: free) reminders to drink water, eat food and get home safely on its bottle caps from all sorts of fast food chains, ride-share co’s and H2O brands.

On a personal level, I’m so proud of Canada again this year. Given that it was two years of work from all over the world being judged, even making the Cannes shortlist was an accomplishment. Canada is herding in the Lions in tremendous numbers – and it’s not even over. Fingers are crossed.

KAREN-HOWE-PIC-higher-rez-300x263Karen Howe is a Canadian Cannes Advisory Board Member and founder of The Township Group