For those living in Canada and certain parts of the United States, Tim Hortons is a beacon of light: glorious donuts, hot coffee, and a friendly face behind the counter. These attributes have made this dominant fast food chain an iconic–and welcome–bright spot on Canadian highways. But in their new campaign, the chain opted to dim the lights instead.
With #TimsDarkExperiment, Tim Hortons–with the help of JWT Canada–invited customers into a store in a small Canadian town that they painted black. Inside the store, the lights were out–making for a pitch-black environment staffed by employees in night-vision goggles. The entire experience was filmed with night-vision cameras capturing the responses as the staff introduced the chain’s “first new blend in 50 years”–a dark roast. The Tims employees apparently couldn’t resist at least one jump-scare, delivered upon welcoming the customers to the store.
After everyone receives their coffee, the lights go up and they’re once more in the safe and familiar environs of a local Tims–with some free experimental coffee. “We took away customers’ sense of sight to supercharge their sense of taste,” the short videos documenting the experiment explain, and after everyone adjusts to the idea of scary dark roast coffee, they seem pretty satisfied with the taste–reaffirming our belief that all fast food is better when you don’t have to look at it.