Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop at the Sundance Film Festival



In 2015, Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop sought to increase brand awareness on the West Coast, attract potential franchise partners and get cups in the hands of influencers.

Approach Marketing worked closely with company executives to propose a brand activation at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Attracting actors, directors, celebrities and festival insiders, the activation consisted of three major elements:

  1. A pop-up coffee shop at the ChefDance Café and Daytime Media Lounge
  2. A partnership with ChefDance 2015, the 12th annual dinner series featuring celebrity chefs from Bravo’s hit new show The Next Best Restaurant
  3. A sponsorship at the Luc Robitaille Celebrity Shootout and Music for Hope Benefit Concert

For 5-days, the Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop Coffee Lounge sampled Original and Dark Roast Coffee along with lattes and teas to actors, festival VIPs and attendees. The brand was positioned among iconic sponsors such as Marimekko, Stella Artois, BirchBox and Pure Barre at the Indiegogo/HuffPost media lounge. The pop-up coffee shop hosted celebrity guests, including Keanu Reeves, Spike Lee, Jason Segal, Ewan McGregor, Jack Black, Adrian Grenier and Robert Redford, among others. 

In the evenings, Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop was the exclusive coffee provider for ChefDance attendees, where 250 exclusive guests enjoyed a four-course meal prepared by celebrity chefs. Industry insiders and film casts and crews attended ChefDance 2015. Celebrity guests included, Cynthia Nixon, Winona Ryder, Brody Jenner, James Marsden and Peter Sarsgaard.


During the festival, Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop also partnered with Luc Robitaille to sponsor a Celebrity Shootout and Music for Hope Concert to benefit Echoes of Hope. The events featured performances by Five for Fighting, Matisyahu, R5, Taylor Dayne and Jessarae. Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop was the exclusive coffee provider and VIP dinner sponsor. Celebrities, such as David Boreanaz, Andie Macdowell, Michael Vartan, Ken Baker and Jason Priestley, attended the events.

Each day of the festival, Approach Marketing pitched event photos to national entertainment media securing placements in E! Online, OK! Magazine, Star Magazine, Radar Online, US Weekly and Yahoo! Celebrity, among others. More than 212 million media impressions resulted from the brand activation. 


Additionally, Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop garnered dozens of celebrity brand photos that we used in national and geo-targeted Facebook and Twitter posts. We earned more than 134,000 impressions on Facebook and each post received 300+ organic likes. The brand’s Instagram and Twitter accounts received 1,300 and 225 mentions respectively. And, Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop earned 550 new followers on social media as a result of the campaign. 


About Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop 

Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop, part of Restaurant Brands International, is one of North America’s largest restaurant chains operating in the quick service segment. Launching in the U.S. in 1985, Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop appeals to a broad range of consumer tastes, with a menu that includes premium coffee, hot and cold specialty drinks (including lattes, cappuccinos and espresso shots), specialty teas and fruit smoothies, fresh baked goods, grilled Panini and classic sandwiches, wraps, soups, prepared foods and other food products. As of September 28, 2014, Tim Hortons had 4,590 systemwide restaurants, including 869 in the United States 3,665 in Canada, and 56 in the Gulf Cooperation Council. More information about the Company is available at www.timhortons.com.


Donatos Pizza Executive Branding Campaign


In 2014, Donatos Pizza teamed up with Approach Marketing to develop a public relations/executive branding campaign aimed at enhancing the Donatos brand with a human connection; positioning Jane Grote Abell, founding family member and current chairwoman of the board, as the face of the company and Tom Krouse, president and CEO, as an industry thought leader. 

Working in tandem with an updated advertising campaign, Approach Marketing proposed three main strategies to reach our goals and objectives: 

  1. Strategy 1 (Media Relations): Implement an ongoing media relations campaign featuring Jane, designed to build awareness and support sales, targeted at reporters in key markets, along with trade media and bloggers.
  2. Strategy 2 (Executive Branding): Work with Jane to execute an executive branding campaign, consisting of speaking engagements, a book and microsite launch, aimed at positioning Jane as the new face of Donatos and a community activist in Central Ohio.  
  3. Strategy 3 (Thought Leadership): Utilize media opportunities, awards and new store openings to position Jane, Tom and other executives as thought leaders in the restaurant industry. Use these opportunities to expand brand recognition amongst target audiences.  


Throughout the year, Approach Marketing identified and pitched stories featuring brand growth, Jane’s community involvement activities, human interest stories within the Donatos system and new product announcements to local market, national and trade media. The campaign garnered more than 310 placements.

Approach Marketing also worked with Jane to launch a speaking series to promote her forthcoming book, The Missing Piece: Doing Business the Donatos Way. Approach Marketing secured 14 national and local speaking opportunities where thousands of individuals had direct exposure to Jane and the Donatos brand. 

Additionally Approach Marketing worked to secure a number of industry awards for Jane, Tom and other Donatos executives. In 2014 alone, Donatos received the following awards:  


  • YMCA Woman of Achievement Award recognizing Jane Grote Abell
  • Columbus CEO of the Year recognizing Jane Grote Abell
  • Columbus Business First’s C-Suite Executive of the Year recognizing Tom Krouse
  • Smart Business Magazine’s Smart 50 Award recognizing Tom Krouse
  • Columbus CEP HR Excellence Award recognizing Mary Rauchenstein 
  • United Way of Central Ohio Celebration of Excellence Award recognizing Donatos
  • Franchise Update Magazine Top 24 Women in Franchising recognizing Jane Grote Abell
  • Conway Center Family Business Award recognizing the Grote Family


In 2015 Approach Marketing continues to support all PR initiatives for Donatos Pizza. Approach Marketing’s Megan Shroy also acts as the personal publicist to Jane Grote Abell.


About Donatos Pizza

Donatos Pizza, founded in 1963 by Jim Grote, is family-owned and operated and headquartered in Columbus Ohio.  The creator of Edge to Edge® pizza, Donatos is recognized as one of America’s premier regional pizza chains.  Donatos and its Franchise Partners operate 154 restaurants in 6 states and its products are proudly served in more than 15 sports and entertainment venues.  For more information, visit www.donatos.com.



The Berry Company’s Think Yellow, Go Green Media Relations Campaign 

The Berry Company is a leading provider of local online, search, video and directory solutions. Its best in class sales organization helps hundreds of thousands of businesses in 50 states market their businesses to local consumers. Berry has been connecting businesses to the power of Yellow Page advertising for nearly a century. 

For more five years, Berry has been dedicated to keeping outdated phone directories out of landfills through recycling. The company hosts an annual Think Yellow Go Green recycling program in markets across the country. 


RedRocket Connect, an Internet marketing and creative advertising agency has served The Berry Company for nearly five years. RedRocket Connect has developed an exclusive relationship with Approach Marketing to bring public relations and communications services to its clients, including Berry. In 2014, Berry executives turned RedRocket for ideas and execution to freshen up the Think Yellow Go Green program.

Approach Marketing developed a PR campaign inviting residents and businesses in Oahu, Lincoln, Anchorage and on the neighbor islands of Hawaii to recycle outdated telephone directories. Designed to build strong community relationships and garner media attention in key local markets, we partnered with local schools, food banks, the Boy Scouts of America, shopping malls, grocery stores, environmental awareness organizations and community parks to host collection events in key Berry markets. 

Throughout the program Approach Marketing pitched national and local media about the events and outdated phone directory recycling overall and from a media perspective, 2014 was TYGG’s most successful year to date. The program garnered more than 25 million media impressions (up from 14 million in 2013). Coverage highlights include the Associated Press, the major dailies in all markets and more television broadcast coverage than ever before. 

Most importantly, over the course of six years, the program has kept over 873 tons of outdated phone directories out of landfills through recycling. 

In addition to our media successes, we were able to cut well over $75,000 in hard costs from this program’s budget by identifying cost saving measures for the client. 

RedRocket Connect continues to serve as Berry’s agency of record, and in 2015, the Think Yellow Go Green recycling program was expanded to include New Haven, Connecticut and Cincinnati. Approach Marketing is executing the program across the country.


About The Berry Company

The Berry Company, LLC, is a leading provider of local online, search, video and directory solutions. Its best in class sales organization helps hundreds of thousands of businesses in 50 states market their businesses to local consumers. Berry offers its clients the latest in social, mobile and content marketing via its direct relationship with LocalVox, an industry leading digital provider. Berry is also an authorized reseller of YP.comTM. The company is a GoogleTM Qualified Company, offering Google AdWords and other solutions to its clients. Offering exceptional service, local market expertise and a strong portfolio of solutions, Berry makes local search simple. For more information, please visit www.TheBerryCompany.com


About RedRocket Connect

RedRocket Connect is a digital, web and advertising agency founded by President and Director of Client Services Greg Henderson. RedRocket consists of a group of experienced, integrated marketing professionals with a fierce passion for delivering excellent marketing and creative strategies leveraging the power of the web to bring the best of the best to the table, collaborating efficiently for the greatest benefit to all clientele. To learn more about RedRocket Connect, visit www.redrocketconnect.com.