Pre-cups: taking the fun out of morning coffee

Brittany_Tims01Tim Hortons is not taking their 50th anniversary lightly – they are making it count. Starting February 17, Tim Horton’s launched their 50th edition of Roll Up The Rim, and this time it’s “even more exciting” than ever before. They have decided to make the winnings bigger – now with two chances to win instead of one. The beloved coffee company has added even more incentive to use Tim’s as your constant coffee supplier for the next few months – now there’s two chances to roll.

The cups have the same style, similar prizes, and the same rim. They have their traditional winnings, consisting of millions of coffee and food prizes, 100 prepaid Visa cards, 25,000 Tim Cards and of course the Toyota Corolla Sports Cars. This year, instead of 10 cars – there are 50. The first roll has the chances of winning any of the prizes, and the second has been designed only for the extra car prizes.

“So it’s 50 cars for 50 years,” said Glenn Hollis, vice-president of brand strategy for Tim Horton’s in an interview with The Huffington Post.

Tim Horton’s is very serious with their new campaign; so serious that they’ve introduced something they call a “pre-cup” which is available online. You know when you buy a coffee for a friend and they win something and no one knows who really gets to keep it? That’s basically what this is for. Just like a pre-nup, the pre-cup is designed to clear up confusion with who the real winner is and who gets the prize. This is convenient especially with the bigger wins and extra prizes this year, but is it really that good of an idea?

Basically, the pre-cup is a contract, one that isn’t legally binding of course, that outlines whether the purchaser or the roller would win the prize if there was a winning cup. Nowhere does it state specifically which party gets the prize – the purchaser and the roller get to decide that for themselves. So if that’s the case, what’s the point? Either way the decision would come down to the two people involved in the process. The contract isn’t legally binding. Couldn’t this be done without the paperwork?

What signing a pre-cup sounds like to me is just taking all the fun out of morning coffee between friends. I would assume two people would be civil enough to figure out who would get what prize if they won without making a fuss about it. To me, the idea of a pre-cup just sounds far more serious than it needs to be and unnecessarily time consuming. Yes, it is in no way meant to be taken seriously, but it’s said to be there “just in case.” I think that two people can figure out on their own who gets to win something- they don’t need to sign a contract for it.

Possibly due to past problems they’ve had between strangers based on who gets to win what and because of their 50th anniversary marketing strategy, the contract has been introduced and widely promoted. Whether or not it is actually being used or not, it is still getting word out there and getting people talking about the new campaign. Not like Tim Hortons needs any sort of promotion whatsoever when it’s Roll Up The Rim season, but from a marketing and brand strategy perspective, the contract is ludicrous. With a little note at the bottom of each page of document stating, “This is a parody,” it’ll be interesting to see how many people actually take the pre-cup seriously this season.

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