Hudson's Bay tapped "Schitt's Creek" actresses Catherine O'Hara and Annie Murphy to appear in new holiday ads that will run across its digital platforms and primetime TV, the retailer announced on Monday.
O'Hara and Murphy also feature in the retailer's first "Holiday Hub," an immersive mobile and desktop experience that looks to provide customers with inspiration as they shop online.
The brand's holiday campaign taps into interest around an Emmy Award-winning sitcom while looking to accommodate consumers during a gift-giving season that is expected to be different due to concerns around the pandemic.
Despite Hudson Bay's own struggles and ongoing disruptions related to the pandemic, the brand's new holiday campaign takes a positive note. Recognizing that people might need more optimism this season, the company took time to understand customers' needs and top priorities, Meghan Nameth, chief marketing officer, said in a statement.
The retailer looks to lighten the mood with some humor from O'Hara and Murphy and bring back nostalgia with the return of its window displays, the executive said in the press release. Holiday campaigns from retailers Gap, Banana Republic and Zulily also feature hopeful, upbeat messages.
"Schitt's Creek," which set a seven-Emmy record at the annual awards show in September, has grown to be a top comedy program of the streaming era. Originally airing on the cable network Pop, the series attracted a broader audience and widespread critical claiming thanks to landing on Netflix, which itself has a seen a bump in viewers due to the pandemic. Hudson's Bay is clearly angling to capture the attention of some of that audience by working with two of the show's stars.
Hudson’s Bay's holiday push also looks to reach out to consumers based on their holiday personalities and on the online channels where they're spending more of their time. The department store has curated its offerings to suit everyone from "the merry modernista" to "the holiday hibernator," the announcement noted. Given the wariness toward in-store shopping, retailers and brands have had to get creative with how they remotely connect with consumers.
The launch of Hudson’s Bay's campaign follows the retailer's decision to bring back its window displays despite the hits to foot traffic. BlogTO reports that the retailer's holiday window displays — including five digitally-interactive displays — will return, but without the usual unveiling ceremony due to COVID-19 concerns.
Though it's true that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges for retailers, department stores were declining prior to the health crisis. Hudson's Bay Co., which owns Sak's Fifth Ave and the soon-to-be-defunct Lord & Taylor, reportedly saw its revenues decline to $1.8 billion Canadian in December 2019, but the company entered into a deal with Catalyst Capital Group to transition to private ownership earlier this year. Its namesake has had its fair share of problems years before the pandemic, too.