Monday, February 11, 2013

Dear Tim Hortons.......

Disclaimer: I love Tim Hortons coffee. In fact, I brew it every morning at home in my Tim Hortons home brewer and drink it out of my Tim Hortons reusable mug. It is the beginning of my day….every day.

February 18th, Tim Hortons will be launching its 2013 “Roll Up the Rim To Win” Contest (the link is to the 2012 contest - I will change it once the new one is launched). For my non-Canadian readers, the contest involves specially created disposable cups that have a “rollable” rim. After drinking your java you roll up the rim to reveal if you have won a freebie. Prizes include: coffee, food prizes, camping packages, televisions, gift cards, cameras and even a new vehicle.

Ya….it’s a big deal in Canada

As a result, Tim Hortons disposable cups with the rollable rim become a valued commodity (there have been court cases because of the cups). Why is this contest so popular? I think it is because the Roll up the Rim contest is the great Canadian equalizer. Anyone with enough money in their change purse to purchase a coffee has the chance to win a brand new vehicle or… most cases a free doughnut. It crosses all economic boundaries and demographics. We are being rewarded for being good customers.

There is a down side……..

The contest can only be played on disposable cups. Result? Contest = more people buying coffee = more cups in the garbage.

But….I have my own reusable cup…what happens then? During the contest, if you present your reusable cup at the coffee counter, they will graciously fill your cup, but will hand you a disposable cup as well, so that you can play the game.

Another scenario is sometimes near the end of the contest they run out of medium/large/extra large coffee cups with the game playing rollable rim. In this case, you are given your coffee in “normal” disposable cup AND given a game-playing cup in a different size.

It just seems wrong and there has to be a better way to run this contest…one that is less wasteful.

Is this a case where the marketed and branded “Roll up the Rim” contest is so recognizable that any deviation would frustrate and alienate the customer? I don’t think so. I think they could slowly introduce another option….another way for folks to play the game that creates less waste.

Are you listening Tim Hortons? Please don’t make me feel bad about drinking your coffee……I really like your coffee and I want to feel good about the choice I am making.

The contest is successful, the brand is it is time to move forward - improve it by embracing a more sustainable strategy.

What do you think?

Update*** After posting a tweet about this blog post, I had a response from Brett Pickering (@BrettP65) who had this to say:
Thank you for the information Brett. The link for the 2012 game can be found HERE

The will no doubt play a similar game for the 2013 campaign. They also have a few other cool social media links on their site HERE



Shawna McKinley said...

So relate! Couple of ideas....
Reusable cup users could spin a wheel for their prize. Or use some kind of reusable slot-machine at each outlet for a random win? Or how about if you buy or use a reusable cup you get a "5 free plays"-type card? There must be some kind of redeemable mobile app code, to do this via a smartphone maybe? So many more sustainable ways we could RRRrrrrrroll!

The Green-Eyed Event Planner said...

Great ideas! I was thinking along the same lines. I wondered about developing a very simple app where you could input a code that you are given when you make a coffee purchase during the contest. If you are a winner, the app would generate a bar code that could be scanned to redeem the prizes at the counter. Simple, simple.....

We are geniuses.......:)

Tammy said...

I have a low tech, recyclable idea in the spirit of the original game, no computer required. Give just a rim. Just enough paper to roll up with the same message as now. (usually starts with "sorry" in my world) It's a rim and roll, without the contamination.