Red Urban Shares Little-Known History for HBC

By Erik Oster 

Toronto agency Red Urban launched a new campaign for Hudson’s Bay Company, which includes the brand’s first-ever broadcast spot.

“Let me tell you about the greatest Arctic explorer you’ve probably never heard of,” begins the voiceover, before launching into the tale of John Rae, a doctor for Hudson’s Bay Company who led four Arctic expeditions. Rae learned how to live off the land and survive the cold weather from the Inuit, and found the missing link of the Northwest Passage. “It just goes to show, survival skills can take you a long way,” concludes the voiceover, “we are a country of adventurers.” It’s an interesting little piece of history, certainly more informative than most ads, and speaks to the brand’s long history dating back to 1670.

The 60-second spot, which made its debut during the Emmys, promotes the HBC History Foundation’s launching of a new series of historical narratives exploring Canadian history. 

“Nearly 350 years ago, in 1670, Hudson’s Bay Company was founded as the ‘Company of Adventurers trading into Hudson Bay.’  HBC helped establish the nation and the company archives represent an important part of the story of Canada,” explained Richard Baker, governor and executive chairman, HBC. “That’s why the HBC History Foundation is uniquely positioned and committed to telling Canada’s rich stories.”