Essay on Tim Horton's Use of Institutional Advertising

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Within Canadian culture there are many embedded beliefs and values that provide a national identity. Tim Hortons is no different, having built a brand that coincides with these values of honesty, thoughtfulness and acceptance of others. Canadians relate to Tim Hortons as a definitive Canadian brand, and as a ‘go-to’ convenience product. The commercial that demonstrates an aspect of both Canadian and Tim Hortons’ values was aired on the morning of January 15th, 2011 on The Sports Network (TSN). ‘A coffee all our own’ displays a true story of immigration that begins with a solitary man, and inevitably leads to him welcoming the rest of family with at the airport with winter clothing and Tim Hortons coffee, which are staples in Canadian life. The Tim Hortons brand builds relationships and loyalty with consumers as a result of institutional advertising.

The commercial begins by showing a man, in his apartment, speaking to his wife on the phone. From the decor of the apartment, it is clear that the man has been preparing for children to live there. While on the phone, the man exchanges, “miss you, love you, see you tomorrow” with his wife. The audience instantly empathizes with the man, without any use of brand or product placement. Following the conversation with his wife, the man is seen at a clothing store, purchasing winter jackets for, what can be assumed as, his family. The man places all of the winter clothing into bags and is next seen at the airport, awaiting the arrival of his family. Prior to their arrival, the man passes a Tim Hortons and purchases 2 coffees. This is the first instance, at the :40 second mark, that we come to notice the brand. The subtleness of the mans interaction with Tim H...

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...nt only a segment of the market, this commercial can be understood and interpreted across all segments of the market. The short description of the commercial, “…moments that bring us all together, like a Tim Hortons Coffee, a coffee all our own” (Tim Hortons, 2011) reassures the audience that they are a part of both Canadian and Tim Hortons culture, which according to Tim Hortons, will forever be inextricably linked.


Tim Hortons. (2011). About Us. Retrieved March 19, 2011, from Tim Hortons:

Tim Hortons. (2011). Tim's TV. Retrieved March 19, 2011, from Tim Hortons:

William, P., Jerome, M., Lindsay, M., & Ricker, L. (2007). Basic Marketing: A Global- Managerial Approach (12th ed.). Toronto, Ontario, Canada: McGraw-Hill Ryerson.

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