Annie Murphy (and friends) back with The Bay

Who: The Bay, with FCB for creative, and Cossette Media for media.

What: “Your Bay,” a fall campaign for the Canadian retail giant promoting its ability to provide fashion, houseware, etc. solutions that match your personal style. It continues the retailer’s relationship with Schitt’s Creek star Annie Murphy, which started with its 2020 holiday campaign, but also includes several prominent Canadian influencers (see below).

When & Where: The campaign debuted last week on, social media and TV. There is a robust content component that includes exclusive interviews, videos, social media, as well as shoppable content curated by each influencer.

Why: Allison Litzinger, vice-president of marketing, brand, customer and loyalty at The Bay, says that the campaign’s objective is to “spark discovery” among its customers by showing its ability to meet the needs of a diverse group of influencers. “[R]ather than dictating style, we’re putting our brand in the hands of influential creators to show how they make The Bay their own with our unrivalled assortment of quality products.”

How: Rather than simply tell consumers what’s “in” this season, The Bay’s marketing team invited five influential Canadians to express their personal taste. In addition to Murphy, the influencers include fashion designers Lesley Hampton and George Sully, as well as social media stars The Rebel Mama (Nikita Stanley and Aleks Jassem).

A 30-second video spot featuring the influencers invites Canadians to “take the new Bay, and make it their own.” There’s an unmistakable emphasis on ecommerce, with Murphy using her phone and to buy everything from fashion and accessories to home furnishings.A dedicated hub on features extensive content that includes profiles of the influencers, accompanied by shoppable curated lists.

The background: The campaign coincides with an announcement that Hudson’s Bay is splitting its ecommerce and brick-and-mortar businesses into two distinct operations, with an eye towards accelerating its “digital-first transformation.”

The company’s ecommerce division will now operate as The Bay, while its 86-store fleet will operate as Hudson’s Bay. Led by president and CEO Iain Nairn, The Bay will oversee brand direction, marketing, buying, planning and technology for the two business. The company said that the new operating model will enable it to “materially accelerate” the biggest growth opportunities for each unit.

Since launching its online Marketplace earlier this year, The Bay has introduced more than 1,500 new or expanded brands, and more than 25,000 new products while continuing to grow and innovate on, which it says is now the country’s sixth-largest ecommerce business.

And we quote: “The creative concept behind this campaign is focused on taking an iconic brand and having Canadians truly make it their own. Using a blend of digital media tactics, the campaign promotes individuality, and allows Canadians to curate their own unapologetic style. We want Canadians to know that no matter their style, taste, or personality, their Bay is out there.” — Jer McNama, executive creative director, FCB

Chris Powell