Last fall, in honour of Rememberance Day, the Canadian Mint released quarters into circulation that included a red poppy in the centre. They were the first coins to include colour released into general circulation and they were released in conjunction with a full media campaign through Tim Hortons' restaurants across Canada.
Thing is, Tim Hortons paid nothing for the honour of being selected for the coin distribution -- usually done through banks or Canada Post. The Globe and Mail reports, Poppy quarters distributed under untendered contract. The Mint won't say how much it cost to advertize the promotion or to deliver the coins to the outlets, but says that, the increase in traffic to Tim Horton's was kind of offset by the fact that the coin was available without purchase. People could just come in and exchange coins.
That's funny. I don't remember any signs saying I could exchange coins. I just went in and bought a doughnut.