How Tim Hortons keeps rolling up a winner after 30 years

Tim Hortons' Roll Up the Rim to Win campaign has stood the test of time and raked in huge profits over 30 years because it's simple and catchy, a marketing expert says.

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Brand specialist Tony Chapman says Tim Hortons' 30-year-old promotional campaign has survived longer than most contests ever do, because of its "play factor" and the company's willingness to stay the course.

"A lot of times, marketers get bored with a campaign faster than the consumer," Chapman told CTV News Channel on Thursday.

But Roll Up the Rim is different, Chapman said, because Tims has stuck with a "brilliant" game that is fun to say and fun to play.

"It's become part of the vernacular. Everybody tries to roll their 'R's when they're doing it," Chapman said.

He added that the game is appealing, on a basic level, because it encourages people to play with the product, and offers an instant "thumbs up-thumbs down" result. Chapman said other promotional games are more complicated. McDonald's Monopoly, for instance, requires the customer to collect tabs over several visits to the restauarant, in hopes of winning a prize.

“It's a very cumbersome game," he said of the Monopoly contest.

Chapman said Tim Hortons has taken some strong steps this year to keep its 30-year-old contest fresh, such as incorporating it into a mobile app, and offering digital "Roll Up the Rim" chances to customers who buy cans of Tim's coffee from the grocery store.

However, he also suggested the company should re-think its prize selection to target younger consumers, and perhaps move away from offering the TVs and cars it typically gives out.

"The millennials are who they're going to have to win over in the next five years," Chapman said. "A lot of millennials don't even want a car."


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