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By Published on .

Tim Hortons, the Canadian doughnut chain acquired two years ago by Wendy's International, is launching its first U.S. campaign.

The 1,500-unit Tim Hortons is well-known on its home turf, but has only 70 outlets in the U.S., where it plans further expansion.

Hortons is viewed by observers as a way for burger giant Wendy's to add breakfast. But the concept-Tim Hortons offers coffee and baked goods, including store-made doughnuts and bagels-is also seen as being able to stand on its own.


TV commercials from Toronto shop Enterprise Creative Selling-Tim Hortons' agency for the past seven years-break Oct. 6 in Columbus, Ohio, and Detroit, where the chain has the highest concentration of units. The units were converted from the Hardee's and Rax brands.

A 60-second radio spot will run in West Virginia and Kentucky markets, a Tim Hortons spokeswoman said.

"We had to be very careful that we didn't assume anything on the part of the consumer. Everyone in Canada knows what Tim Hortons is. It's a national institution," said agency Creative Director Barry Jones. "There's a lot to say about what Tim Hortons is because it is a new idea down there."


The campaign begins with a four-week run of a 30-second TV spot to introduce the brand. A server named Gina gives the viewer a tour of a Tim Hortons, with the spotlight on fresh baked goods and the chain's signature coffee.

"We have some great food footage of their baked goods and their doughnuts, and coffee pours and sips," Mr. Jones said.

A second :30 featuring Tim Hortons coffee will air next for about three weeks, the spokeswoman said.

She declined to say how much is being spent on the campaign, but did say it is in addition to the chain's $23 million Canadian ad budget.

Enterprise Creative was awarded the U.S. work without a review, Mr. Jones said, adding that he's "keeping his fingers crossed" the agency will be awarded more Hortons work as the chain expands in the U.S.

The ads will make no reference to the chain's namesake and co-founder, Tim Horton, a Canadian hockey star who died in 1974.

David Rose, a restaurant analyst with Jefferies & Co., called Tim Hortons a "great concept" with little brand recognition in the U.S., and said the new

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