Monday, March 15, 2010

Truth, Advertizing, and the Tim Horton's Way

Over on the Torontoist website there is an article about a tear-jerking Tim Horton's Ad that appeared during the Olympics:

Tim Horton's, for those of your living belong the 49th N Parallel, is a chain of coffee and doughnut shops nearly synonymous with Canadian identity. They are bigger (in Canada) than McDonald's. They even have a location at an airbase in Kandahar! Ironically, Tim Horton's went through a stage where they were owned by an American holding Company, however the have since repartiated to Canada.

Anyway, this ad is typical of the current Tim Horton's campaign: a true story that mixes Canadian nationalism with inexpensive coffee and confectioneries. Sappy, sure, but it's hard not to feel a little pride when you watch these ads. The problem, as the Torontoist Culture Club article points out, is that they are stretching the "based on a real story" tag. Actually, this is an amalgamation of stories. Karen Aagaard, the author, makes a good point. The reason they had the somewhat misleading tag "based on a True Story" is that this makes the narrative more compelling. But as in the case of James Frey's pseudo-memoir A Million Little Pieces, it does leave a bad taste in your mouth.


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