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 five 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 Horton's 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.