Tim Hortons teams up with Biebs to make Timbiebs

Who: Tim Hortons, with Gut for creative and strategy, Horizon for media, Craft Public Relations for PR, Boy in the Castle for production (Colin Tilley directing), with Grayson Music, Rooster Post Production and The Vanity for post production.

What: A new collaboration with Justin Bieber that includes special Timbits called “Timbiebs,” along with Timbiebs merchandise. It appears to be the start of a longterm collaboration, with Tims’ chief marketing officer Hope Bagozzi saying in a release that the company is “looking forward to what’s next.”

When & Where: Timbiebs won’t be in store until Nov. 29, but a TV ad introducing the collaboration is live now, and Tim Hortons is also promoting it across its social channels.

Why: Why not? He’s not only one of the biggest pop stars in the world, but he’s also Canadian and loves the brand. “Doing a Tim Hortons collab has always been a dream of mine,” said Bieber in a release introducing Timbiebs Wednesday morning. “I grew up on Tim Hortons and it’s always been something close to my heart.”

Tim Hortons has teamed up with other Tim Hortons-loving Canadian superstars in the past, including Shawn Mendes and Wayne Gretzky.

How: According to Tim Hortons, Bieber told them Timbits are his favourite menu item. That led to what it calls a “multi-stage, iterative journey with Chef Tallis Voakes.” Voakes, who is Tim Hortons’ director of culinary innovation, has been featured in recent advertising about its efforts to update its menu.

The result of the iterative journey was three new Timbit flavours: Chocolate White Fudge, Sour Cream Chocolate Chip, and Birthday Cake Waffle.

The 60-second ad introducing the Timbiebs is a humorous imagination of Bieber brainstorming the new Timbits with a Tim Hortons employee. Bieber juggles Timbits, dons a hockey helmet (a “thinking cap”) and floats ideas like an apricot latte, while the fawning employee shouts words of encouragement. Bieber also teased the collaboration to his 203 million (!!) followers earlier this week.

And we quote: “What’s amazing about working with Justin is he has an authentic, lifelong relationship with Tims and he was so invested in working on Timbiebs and our future plans together,” said Hope Bagozzi, chief marketing officer for Tim Hortons in the release. “He knows exactly what our guests already love about the Tims brand and he’s helping us deliver new menu innovations that we know they’re going to love. We’re really looking forward to what’s next.”

David Brown