Zulu Alpha Kilo

Tim Hortons
"The Away Game"

Client: Tim Hortons
Product: Tim Hortons
Title: The Away Game
Media: Online Film
Country: Canada
Date Of Campaign: Oct 15, 2018

Background: In 2018, Tim Hortons, a Canadian retail icon and the country’s largest QSR restaurant with over 4,000 locations, was in desperate need to rebuild love and trust with its 5,000,000 daily guests following a challenging 12 months that had seen a decline in sales and a stream of negative PR. The brief, although difficult, was straightforward: Build brand love with the brand’s 5,000,000 daily guests to reverse the decline in sentiment and sales in Q4 2018. There was no hard sales target, but there was an objective to generate at least 100,000,000 media impressions from the campaign.

Idea: There is just one ice hockey team in Kenya – the Ice Lions – and they have no one to play. Our idea was to bring them all the way to Canada, the home of hockey, to play a real game. We flew the team to Canada and set up a game at a rink with a team of local league players. What the Ice Lions didn’t know was that two of the best players in the world, Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins) and Nate McKinnon (Colorado Avalanche), were ready to join in and play for the Ice Lions. The experience was chronicled in The Away Game, a content campaign led by a short-form three-minute film. The story inspired hockey lovers worldwide, and garnered an outpouring of support for the Ice Lions.

Results: Our three-minute video had four million views in the first four days with 8M social media impressions in just 72 hours.And then it went global. CNN, The Huffington Post, the BBC, ESPN, Sportsnet, CBC, Global, and USA Today all ran features on the story. Team captain Ben Azegere became an overnight hockey celebrity and was interviewed by some of the biggest sports broadcasters in Canada and the USA. The campaign generated over 300,000,000 earned media impressions with countless articles and over 50 broadcast news segments. We recorded a 100% increase in positive brand sentiment, a 301% increase in engagement on Facebook, a 264% increase on Instagram and an astonishing 1,833% increase on Twitter.Although restaurant traffic and sales were not primary objectives, Tim Hortons saw a 3% lift in store traffic in the month following the launch of the film – an extra 4.5 million guest visits.

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