What’s more powerful than God? Well, apparently marketing is.
Someone told me that Tim Horton’s Roll Up the Rim promotion happens at this time every year because it coincides with Lent. Seems the prospect of a whole legion of Catholics giving up their daily addiction for forty days and nights put the bottom line at risk. Exhibit A: the promo started on Mardi Gras, aka Shrove Tuesday. Coincidence? You decide.
Check out this interesting article recently about the power of habits and how clever marketing can actually overcome them. Sounds like Tim’s has really done their homework. Somehow, they have figured out that they have a disproportionate number of religious folks among their devotees (did I miss the “religious affiliation” checkbox when I applied for my re-loadable Tim Card(tm)?). Maybe they’re targeting the billion-dollar after-Mass crowd.
It does seem remotely plausible that there are enough hard-core Catholics out there who make sacrifices for Lent that the fraction of them who would give up coffee, and the fraction of those who are Timmies addicts, could make a difference to Tim’s profit margin. Then again, what do I know about the coffee market? I do note, however, that Starbucks does not feel the need to improve the incentives at this time of year, leading me to believe that the Mac-toting, Ayn Rand-reading pseudo-intellectual set does not give up coffee for Lent. Yes, I went there.
Ya gotta admit, though, it’s pretty clever marketing on Tim Horton’s part. I mean, who can compete with the remote possibility of awesome prizes? Not eternal salvation, that’s for damn sure.