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Tim Hortons jumps on Instagram for summer campaign

Tim Hortons is putting its weight behind Instagram for a summer campaign that encourages consumers to share pictures of drinks for a chance to win prizes.

Tim Hortons? The Chill to Win campaign runs through July 14 and encourages consumers to visit a microsite on a daily and weekly basis for a chance at winning prizes. The campaign promotes the brand?s iced cappuccino drinks.

?Our strategy behind using mobile is rather a simple one that supports our holistic approach to marketing,? said Janna MacMullin, category brand manager at Tim Hortons, Oakville, CA.

?As mobile phones have gained popularity and become mainstream, it has become crucial for brands like Tim Hortons to have an effective mobile presence,? she said.

?We?ve learned to optimize each platform ? so in this case, by using mobile for our new Iced Capp Chill To Win promotion, we are making it both easy for our guests to engage with us and to easily play the Chill To Win contest from almost anywhere and on almost any device.?   

Mobile chill
Tim Hortons has created a microsite that is accessible via desktops and mobile devices at

Each iced cappuccino features a PIN code that consumers can peel off of the side of a cup and type into the microsite.

When consumers access the site, they are given two ways to play via the PIN code or by playing a mobile game.

To use a PIN number, users need to create a Tim Hortons account and can enter the number for a chance to win hourly and daily prizes including digital cameras and beach kits.

Consumers can enter up to ten PIN numbers per day.

Additionally, consumers can enter to win one of ten $10,000 MasterCard prepaid cards.

The Scrape ?N Match game is a memory game where consumers are encouraged to tap three circles to find matching pictures. Users can play the game once a day.

Optimizing the content and sweepstakes for mobile is a smart move for Tim Hortons since the campaign is geared towards quick, daily play.

Tim Hortons is also leveraging Instagram for its summer campaign. Users are encouraged to upload photos of themselves enjoying iced cappuccinos to Instagram with the hashtag #ChillwithTims.

According to the company, consumers already use Instagram to share their experiences with the brand, making the platform a natural extension of the campaign.

Mobile break
Tim Hortons is no newbie to mobile.

Earlier this year, the company updated its mobile app to make it easier for consumers to check their account balance and help record their orders (see story).

Additionally, the company used a mobile site in 2012 to get the word out about its RRRoll Up The Rim contest (see story).

?We have seen huge boosts in engagement in other mobile initiatives, so mobile plays a key role in our marketing initiatives,? Ms. MacMullin said.

?As such, we want to ensure that the user experience is seamless and positive regardless of what device or platform our guests are using,? she said.

?There also is a great synergy between mobile and social and benefits to activating these two platforms together. Once our guests have played the Chill To Win contest on their mobile device, they can use social media to share their experiences and we can engage with them there.?

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York