Tim Hortons’ magical moment

The brand goes to a higher level with its latest in-store stunt.


Tim Hortons thinks its new frozen drink will take you to a higher level.

To promote its new Creamy Chocolate Chill treat, the brand wanted to show just how magical the drink is by partnering with Canadian illusionist Darcy Oake on an in-store stunt. The main video spot for the launch, created by JWT Canada, features a woman enjoying her beverage so much that she floats right out of her seat. Using six hidden cameras, the spot captures the moment as unaware guests – and staff – marvel at the floating woman.

The Creamy Chocolate Chill, the latest addition to Tim Hortons’ summer drink menu, has received great consumer feedback since its soft launched nationally in late April, says Peter Nowlan, chief marketing officer for the QSR. “We really think this can be the drink of the summer,” he says. “We wanted a communication idea that was as exciting as the product itself.” In the past year, the brand has moved from its “True Stories” approach to pulling off stunts in its stores and Canadian neighbourhoods to surprise its customers, including the “Dark Store” spot and turning a suburban Calgary home into a Tim Hortons.

The new video (along with other behind-the-scenes features), will be promoted on social media and used as digital pre-roll, with Mindshare leading the media buy. “We have a real belief that the media landscape has changed, and so for the next weeks, they’ll only be available online,” Nowlan says. It’s a similar approach to its #TimsDark experiment, he notes. By the time that spot got to TV, the brand’s dark roast coffee already had recognition by 70% of Canadians.

Tim Hortons currently leads the cold specialty coffee category, and says its Iced Capp and Iced Coffee drinks represent about eight out of 10 drinks sold in Canadian QSRs. Along with its fruit smoothies and Frozen Lemonade, the brand says it now has more than 50% market share in the category.