A.I. gets to the point with Tim Hortons

The last few months have provided plenty of proof of how artificial intelligence can complete tasks and answer questions with remarkable (some might say unsettling) speed and proficiency. Now imagine a caffeinated AI.

That’s what Gut and Tim Hortons have done in a new campaign suggesting that a hot cup of Tims can even make AI better.

The idea was a simple one: ask an AI chatbot a series of questions about typical coffee occasions, such as road trips and morning commutes. Then they asked the same questions, but instructed the chatbot to answer as if it had just consumed a cup of Tim Hortons coffee.

While the first answers were predictably articulate, they were also quite long. After the AI had had its cup of coffee, the answers had a friendlier tone, and were significantly more concise. The ads show the questions and answers side by side, with the payoff line, “Even A.I. gets better after a…” beside a Tim Hortons cup.

“We wanted to create a fresh and unique campaign that truly demonstrates the power of a cup of Tims,” said Hope Bagozzi, chief marketing officer at Tim Hortons, in a release. “We pride ourselves on being Canada’s favourite cup of coffee and wanted to lean in on a global trend that helps suggest our brand love goes beyond our guests, and reaches A.I. too.”

For now, the campaign is only running in print, out-of-home and social media around Toronto, although Tim Hortons said it intends to expand it to other channels in the months ahead. Horizon and Media.Monks handled the media.

David Brown