Roll Up The Rim takes Sheridan by storm

Sheridan College students are lining up to try their luck at Tim Horton’s annual Roll Up The Rim event, but some feel it’s a marketing gimmick that lures them to spend more, with little chance of winning.

One student complained she spends up to $10 a day and rarely wins.

Despite the promise of millions of prizes, a glowing yellow ‘Please Play Again’ is the more familiar result.

This year, the contest claims it has “more prizes than Canadians”, including the grand prize: a 2015 Toyota Camry. Other prizes include prepaid credit cards, a flat-screen TV, iPads, and thousands of $100 Tim’s cards.

It’s a clever marketing scheme. Customers are far more likely to win a free coffee or donut, or nothing.

Fast Facts

  • the first Roll Up The Rim contest was held in 1986. The biggest prize was a snackbox of Timbits
  • in places like Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan, a customer’s chance of winning is much higher than in Calgary or Toronto.
  • Tim’s distributes the prizes evenly according to geographic area, not population density.
  • this year, Tim Hortons began offering an online way to play Roll Up The Rim, called ‘Roll Replay’. This contest offers customers the chance to go online and virtually re-roll their losing medium and large cups.

Some Canadians view Roll Up The Rim as something of a national holiday. It has become one of the most popular and most-watched marketing campaigns in Canadian business, and many lovers (and haters) of the strategy take to social media to announce their results.

Tim Horton’s has been fraught with controversy over the last year. It was bought by American fast-food giant Burger King last August for $12 billion. In late January, the company laid off over 350 employees at regional offices in Canada.
It remains to be seen whether this Roll Up the Rim season will reinvigorate Canadians’ love of our national favourite coffee chain.
With the new owners, some Canadians may be left wondering: when will we start winning prizes inside Whoppers?
Image courtesy: David Bloom, Edmonton Sun
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