Tim Hortons ad shows coffee and donut deliveries to the COVID front lines

Tim Horton’s appears to be one of the first major Canadian brands to release an ad showing how it is contributing to communities during the COVID crisis.

Published to YouTube and shared through social channels Thursday, the ad shows Tim Hortons employees delivering coffee and donuts to front-line caregivers at hospitals and a food bank.

“Our coffee trucks are out across Canada serving free coffee and baked goods to those who serve our communities,” said Tim Hortons in a tweet. “It’s a small gesture to say thank you to those making a big impact.” The company announced it would start making deliveries on March 18.

As Canada nears the end of its second week of enforced social distancing, more brands have begun to release marketing that directly addresses the radically different world we are in at the moment.

More ads on radio speak to the crisis, but TV/ video is more difficult because production is complicated by social distancing requirements.

Both Zulu Alpha Kilo and Miami-based agency Gut have regularly been producing advertising for Tim Hortons, which did not immediately respond to requests for comments about the new work.

Loblaws has also been running a TV ad, although in that uncomplicated spot, Loblaw Companies CEO Galen Weston speaks to camera about how his stores have responded to customer concerns that rose up quickly at the start of the crisis, when panic buying led to empty shelves and fears about safety and the supply chain.

Tim Hortons also released a similarly straightforward ad a few days ago in which a Tims employee speaks to camera about how “during this time” it was still open to serve customers via drive thru, the mobile app and delivery.

Tim Hortons also seems to have undergone another change in its more senior marketing ranks, with Paloma Azulay now off the brand entirely and, according to her Linkedin profile, working on Popeyes—also part of Restaurant Brands International, which owns Tim Hortons.

In January, Tim Hortons hired long-time McDonald’s marketer Hope Bagozzi as chief marketer for Canada, although at that time Azulay was still global CMO. She originally began working on the brand as global creative head in 2018.

David Brown