Tim Hortons’ new sammy launches with free-for-all

Full steam ahead for the new product launch, but consumers won't hear about it on Olympics networks due to ad rights issues.


Tim Hortons COO Roland Walton and CMO Bill Moir rolled up their sleeves yesterday morning, and customers won.

The Tim Hortons restaurant executives visited a downtown Toronto franchise to kick of the campaign behind their new breakfast sandwich with free giveaways to hungry morning snackers. Starting this week, the Oakville, ON-based chain will roll out a new campaign for the sandwich that will include a 30-second TV ad, 30-second radio spots and billboards in the Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary markets.

The new sandwich will also be promoted on the Timmy’s website, along with a limited-time lower price, an incentive Moir says his company rarely offers.

‘That’s what’s different about this campaign,’ Moir tells MiC. ‘We’ve had price bundles before, but I can’t remember the last time we launched a product with an introductory price.’

The campaign, produced by JWT Toronto, with a media buy by Accelerator, is aimed toward a broad demographic, he adds.

‘What we purchase is 25-to-54, but we really hit broader than that,’ Moir tells MiC. ‘Breakfast sandwiches have a really broad appeal, so it’s not really aimed at a concise demo.’

The  TV spot focuses on two friends who are so wrapped up in their normal Tim Hortons’ breakfast run routine that one of them fails to recognize the new sandwich option of an English muffin. His colleague races after him to tell him the news. The radio spots feature a woman conversing with her husband as she offers to get him a sandwich.

JWT creative director Paul Wales says the campaign was made easier by the fact that going to Tim Hortons for a breakfast run is part of a normal routine in Canadian life.

‘Breakfast sandwiches in general are really popular, and people go to Tim Hortons a lot for their coffee, so I think it’s going to be a big hit, because it’s that one-stop shop,’ he says.

Popularity aside, one place you won’t see any mention of the new English muffin breakfast sandwich is an Olympic network.

‘We’re not an Olympic sponsor, but we do have an Olympic media package,’ explains Moir. ‘We have the right to be on Olympic media, but we only have the right to broadcast coffee.

‘A couple of our competitors are worldwide sponsors, and they have the rights to certain other categories we don’t have the rights to.’

Competing networks will be running the commercial during the Olympic timeframe.