Sid returns to Rimouski for new Tims spot

Who: Tim Hortons, with Gut for strategy and creative (The French Shop for French-language advertising); Horizon and Media.Monks for media.

What: “Tims Memories with Sid,” a new brand spot featuring Canadian hockey star Sidney Crosby recalling a memory that underscores the coffee chain’s longstanding association with Canada’s game by positioning both as part of the national fabric.

When & Where: The campaign launched on Jan. 2 running for three weeks across TV as both a :60 and a :30, as well as :15s and six-second versions running on digital, including TikTok, Meta, Snap, and YouTube.  

Why: The campaign is about generating “brand love” and awareness of Tims’ longstanding association with Canada’s national sport, said Solange Bernard, senior director of marketing communications with Tims. “It’s very much part of Tims existing framework, which is rooted in authenticity and real ‘Tims Truths'” she said.

It’s the latest in a long line of Tim Hortons ads featuring Crosby, a former Timbit hockey player turned NHL superstar who has appeared in more than 15 spots for the coffee chain in a partnership dating back to 2006 and has seen him promote everything from Timbits Sports to its hockey cards (alongside good friend and fellow NHL star Nathan MacKinnon).

Like a lot of Hockey Canada sponsors, Tim Hortons put its support for the national organization on hold for its response to troubling accusations of sexual assault by some members of junior men’s team in 2018. Instead it has been looking to emphasize its connection to Canada’s game in more positive ways.

How: The spot takes viewers back to 2005 when Crosby, at the time an NHL superstar-in-waiting with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Rimouski Océanic, surprised fans waiting in line to buy playoff tickets by buying them coffees and treats from a nearby Tim Hortons.

The story is relayed by Crosby’s former teammate Eric Neilson, as well as some of the fans who were waiting in line and a former Tims employee who was working behind the counter that day. It ends with Crosby reuniting with those people at the Océanic’s home arena.

Tim Hortons is also inviting others to share their own hockey memories on social media and at a special landing page at the Tims website. “We’re looking forward to having Canadians share their #TimsHockeyMemories with us and learning how Tims has played a role in celebrating both their big and little wins on and off the ice,’ said CMO Hope Bagozzi.

And we quote: “Whether it’s the ritual of grabbing coffees and hot chocolates for an early morning at the rink, or sharing donuts and Timbits after a game, so many Canadian hockey memories are made with Tims.” — Hope Bagozzi, chief marketing officer, Tim Hortons

Chris Powell