Tim Hortons reinvents marketing collaboration with Justin Bieber, launches Biebs Brew

Tim Hortons reinvents marketing collaboration with Justin Bieber, launches Biebs Brew

Brett Bundal, The Canadian Press

Published Tuesday May 17, 2022 9:43AM EST

Last update Tuesday, May 17, 2022 9:43AM EST

The bout in marketing heaven between Tim Hortons and Justin Bieber is back with a new vanilla flavored chilled French coffee.

Biebs Brew is the pop star’s cold brew coffee offering for a coffee chain that launched last year.

Tim Hortons said the drink was inspired by his “slight sweet tooth” and “his love for hints of delicious vanilla flavor in his coffee.”

The coffee is cold brewed for 16 hours to enhance the flavour, while the French vanilla syrup gives it a sweet and creamy taste, the company said.

Biebs Brew will be launched next month along with a limited edition stainless steel mug co-created by the Canadian artist.

“Every brand under the sun is doing this celebrity collaboration right now,” said Avni Shah, associate professor of marketing at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.

“It has become more efficient and productive than traditional advertising.”

She pointed out that the singer has 236 million followers on Instagram, compared to 456,000 followers of Tim Hortons.

“With just one job it reaches millions of people,” Shah said. “It’s a lot more productive than advertising on a billboard.”

The latest collaboration with the product follows the resounding success of the first phase of a celebrity endorsement deal last November.

At the time, Tim Hortons introduced new, limited-time flavors of bite-sized Timbits donuts, called Timbies, and co-branded merchandise.

The items—tote bag, beanie, and fanny pack—sold quickly and popped up online with sellers asking for thousands of dollars.

“We had a queue outside of restaurants,” said Hope Baguzi, chief marketing officer of Tim Hortons. “The kids would go at lunch hour from school and line up around the block.”

Shah said the fact that Tempps products were only available for a limited time only added to the buzz.

“It created a sense of scarcity and drove demand,” she said. “It also helped create word of mouth online.”

Meanwhile, the restaurant’s Tims Rewards loyalty program provides company data from which customers have purchased Timbiebs and accompanying merchandise.

Baguzzi said that while the collaboration “crossed the bar with a younger guest,” customers of all ages have harvested Timbiebs’ products.

Marketing experts say part of the advantage of collaborating with Bieber is to attract a younger demographic.

Jose Seal, CEO of Restaurant Brands International, Tim Hortons’ parent company, said earlier this month that the first part of the collaboration exceeded the company’s expectations.

A repeat of the celebrity endorsement deal is expected to boost sales of the cold brew for the restaurant, which Tim Hortons launched in 2021.

At the time, the company said guests could enjoy the beverage in a variety of ways, including “a smooth and velvety vanilla cream.” It’s unclear how this flavor differs from the new Biebs French Vanilla liqueur.

The partnership between Tim Hortons and Bieber aligns with the Canadian singer’s frequent social media posts about the restaurant.

The artist who grew up in Stratford, Ontario, shared posts dating back a decade about the loss of Tim Hortons while traveling outside Canada.

“Collaborating with Tim Hortons has always been my dream,” Justin Bieber said in a statement. “I grew up on Tim Hortons and it has always been something close to my heart.”

He added, “We couldn’t stop at Temppis, we needed Pepes too.”

Shah said the successful collaboration with the brand includes a celebrity who is already interested in the brand, giving the partnership an authentic feel.

“It worked because Justin Bieber is a Canadian guy who played hockey and grew up with Tim Hortons,” she said. “If he teamed up with Dunkin’ Donuts, it wouldn’t be the same.”

Biebs Brew will be available at Tims restaurants across Canada and the United States on June 6. Stainless steel mugs will only be available in Canada.

The company is also returning Timbiebs Timbits in white chocolate fudge, sour cream chocolate chips, and Christmas waffle for a limited time.

2022-05-17 13:43:24

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