Why Tim Hortons Totally Blacked Out This Location in a Small Quebec Town

Customers were in for a fright

Who turned out the lights?

Tim Hortons and JWT Toronto plunged customers at one of the coffee and donut chain's Quebec locations into inky darkness for a prank introducing a new dark roast coffee blend.

When unwitting patrons arrived, they found the L'Île-Perrot store completely covered in black-out material, even the windows. Dark vehicles were parked out front to heighten the mystery. Those who ventured inside bumped into a dude wearing night-vision goggles, who led them to a counter where dark roast was served and the gag revealed.

Goggles Guy looks pretty creepy, and unlike the hammy, self-aware fright reactions we've seen in some "scary" ad pranks, the squeals of shock and surprise at Tim Hortons seem genuine. This is the client's second large-scale, Twilight Zone-ish effort of late. In May, it meticulously recreated its first shop from 1964, interior and exterior, in minute detail (see below)—even bringing back the original employees as servers.

Both the time machine and darkness stunts have generated lots of attention (the latter is approaching 700,000 YouTube views in four days). Still, such shenanigans seem like an awful lot to digest before you've had your morning joe.