Tim Hortons launches a second run at Roll Up

The QSR chain is aiming to spread some cheer during a difficult year, as well as continue to drive digital engagement.

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Tim Hortons is rolling out a second run of its Roll Up to Win to give back to its guests in a difficult time and further drive digital engagement.

The contest has run annually since 1986, but this is only the second time in the 35-year history of the promotion – the other time being in 2017, for Canada’s 150th anniversary – that it will run twice in one year.

The contest was renamed Roll Up to Win earlier this year, reflecting the fact that the QSR chain also ditched its “please play again” tabs – as well as physical cups – in a bid to encourage greater engagement among Canadians.

According to Hope Bagozzi, CMO for the chain, the spring contest “was a huge hit” that awarded nearly 60.5 million prizes, and the team was eager to develop the next campaign.

“We ultimately decided that given how challenging 2021 has been, our guests would appreciate another chance to experience Roll Up this year,” she says.

As with the other recent editions of Roll Up, this one will be digital-only. Guests will earn a Roll for each qualifying item that they buy, which includes most hot and cold drinks and the restaurant’s breakfast sandwiches and wraps, by scanning for Tims Rewards using their app or physical card.

Many of those products have been focus points for the QSR since it reworked its marketing framework, as has its loyalty program and smartphone app.

This edition of the contest boasts Roll Up’s largest prize pool ever, including Volkswagen Taos Highline vehicles, $1,000 American Express prepaid cards, Cineplex “Movies for a Year” passes and subscriptions to Crave and the Athletic.

The contest will launch Sept. 20 and run through Oct. 17, with all Rolls remaining valid until Nov. 3.

While the contest has been a major driver of sales at Tims throughout its history, in recent years, parent company Restaurant Brands International has instead pointed to the contest missing expectations as a reason for poorer-than-expected sales in the quarter when the contest runs, leading to efforts to reimagine parts of the contest.

This year, RBI did not get into how much of an impact the contest had or didn’t have on Q1 sales, which were down 3.3% in Canada due to ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the company deemed the all-digital redesign of the contest a success, due to the fact that it drove two million downloads of the Tims app in March, twice as many as during the previous year’s contest, with engagement on the app hitting “an all-time high” during the contest period. Tims Rewards and the accompanying app has been pointed to as a key part of Tims’ recovery and growth plan by RBI execs.