08:14:33 pm on
Sunday 03 Jul 2022

Timbiebs Finally
David Simmonds

The countdown has begun. Only a few more days until Tim Hortons unveils its new donuts. It’s three special Timbits co-created with celebrity endorser Justin Bieber, to be known as “Timbiebs.”  

Flavoured Timbiebs

The new Timbits, sorry, Timbiebs, will come in three flavours: Chocolate White Fudge, Sour Cream Chocolate Chip and Birthday Cake Waffle. The teaser advertisements are underway. watch for Bieber getting creative laying on a table.
What is Justin Bieber doing getting into bed with the donut mega-chain?  He surely doesn’t need the money and it takes precious time away from recording and promoting his music.  According to Mr. Bieber, "Doing a Tim Hortons collab has always been a dream of mine.  I grew up on Tim Hortons and it's always been something close to my heart."

When you’ve achieved your dream of stardom by age fifteen, you have a few years remaining in which to fulfill your lesser dreams.  Best to catch the dollars before your star fades. There may also be an immortality factor.

For Tim Hortons, the partnership with Bieber offers an opportunity to break free of the perception it is a place where the old, retired or unemployed go to sit around, drink coffee and wait for something interesting to happen.  Will Tim Hortons suddenly become the place to see and be seen? Will people stop lingering over macchiato lattes at Starbucks and settle for twenty-minute seating over a double-double?  Perhaps the end of the world is imminent.

Maybe regular customers will forsake the Tim Hortons experience because they don’t want to be associated, even indirectly with an endorsement by Bieber? Because he’s stirred up some controversy this week by agreeing to perform in Saudi Arabia, the country that dismembers its critics.  Because they don’t have much good to say about his music.

Whether the effect on Tim Horton customers generally be positive or negative, the association clearly makes sense for those who grew up with Justin Bieber.  His most fervent fans are now aspiring hockey moms and dads; their kids will be starting to play Timbits hockey.  An opportunity to ensnare a new generation of customers for Tim Hortons has arisen.

What does Biebs contract specify?

I’d love to know what the Bieber contract, with Tim Hortons, has to say. Is he getting paid a lump sum or is he taking a percentage of sales of the Timbiebs?  Does Tim Hortons have to stock a bathtub full of Timbiebs in his dressing room before every performance?  Is there a bad behaviour clause that allows Tim Hortons to cancel the deal if he does something to embarrass the company?  For how long are the parties committed to this deal? 

The questions keep pouring out.  Will you be able to acquire Justin Bieber music and merchandise at Tim Hortons?  Will Bieber do pop up concerts at participating locations? Will he be contractually bound to record a song expressing his love for Timbiebs?  Will Tim’s menu expand to include more Bieber themed items? Will he be endorsing products from other companies in the Restaurant Brands International stable, such as Burger King, Popeyes fried chicken and, as of just the other day, Firehouse subs?

Now comes the tricky question. Should I sample the new Timbiebs or give them a pass because I am not a Justin Bieber fan, although, I suppose, I could become one if I ever listened to his music.  That Birthday Cake Waffle mashup sure sounds tempting. Maybe I could pick up a few of them through a surrogate or under the cover of darkness when no-one else is looking. 

Why am I getting so worked up about this?  Just because Justin Bieber and I both crave Birthday Cake Waffle Timbits it doesn’t follow that we are soul brothers; that would amount to guilt by association.  And celebrities endorse products all the time, even products they like.  It’s not as if Tim’s belongs to me or any other member of the public; it just sometimes feels like it does, because it is omnipresent. 

Tim’s is surely a big tent place; it can handle both Bieber fans and Bieber non-fans.  The contracting parties are both grownups.  The two of them just might be having a little fun with the campaign, if the web video about the collaboration is anything to go by.  Some of that good feeling might rub off on me, if I am prepared to let it. 

Variety of Timbits due to Bieber?

Let’s give Bieber his due. Without him, the Birthday Cake Waffle as well as the Chocolate White Fudge and Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Timbit varieties might never have seen the light of day.  My considered conclusion is that I owe it to Bieber to try them, openly and unashamedly.  I’ve already got next Monday morning, early, marked in my calendar. “A dozen Timbiebs, please,” I will say, “and don’t give me only eight.”

Some readers seem intent on nullifying the authority of David Simmonds. The critics are so intense; Simmonds is cast as more scoundrel than scamp. He is, in fact, a Canadian writer of much wit and wisdom. Simmonds writes strong prose, not infrequently laced with savage humour. He dissects, in a cheeky way, what some think sacrosanct. His wit refuses to allow the absurdities of life to move along, nicely, without comment. What Simmonds writes frightens some readers. He doesn't court the ineffectual. Those he scares off are the same ones that will not understand his writing. Satire is not for sissies. The wit of David Simmonds skewers societal vanities, the self-important and their follies as well as the madness of tyrants. He never targets the outcasts or the marginalised; when he goes for a jugular, its blood is blue. David Simmonds, by nurture, is a lawyer. By nature, he is a perceptive writer, with a gimlet eye, a superb folk singer, lyricist and composer. He believes quirkiness is universal; this is his focus and the base of his creativity. "If my humour hurts," says Simmonds,"it's after the stiletto comes out." He's an urban satirist on par with Pete Hamill and Mike Barnacle; the late Jimmy Breslin and Mike Rokyo and, increasingly, Dorothy Parker. He writes from and often about the village of Wellington, Ontario. Simmonds also writes for the Wellington "Times," in Wellington, Ontario.

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