A grittier take on the festive season is on show in a new campaign for JD Sports by Uncommon, which has no Santa or mince pies in sight. Last year’s Christmas work was done by Cake, part of Havas, so it looks like Uncommon has acquired at least one new client as part of its acquisition deal with the French group.
For Christmas 2023, JD Sports follows a group of young people – including rappers Kano, Nia Archives and Central Cee – hanging out, playing football, clubbing, and feasting with family.
Most of the time someone is carrying a bright yellow JD Sports bag, which is given top billing while the product shots remain low key. It’s now 25 years since the retailer’s signature drawstring duffel bags first came into circulation, and they’ve now become a coveted (and reusable) alternative to PE bags, school bags – and even rain hats – as well as just regular carrier bags.
Benny Everitt, ECD at Uncommon, said: “The JD duffle bag has been a central part in British youth culture across the years. We wanted to create a campaign that celebrated its relevance today now more than ever — using the bag itself as a connection point between the brand and its audience. Using authentic moments, talent and tactical outdoor to bring this message to bear over the festive season.”
EU marketing director Chris Waters joined JD a year ago after 13 years at Asda and Morrisons. He said: “This year’s cast are all young individuals with their own innate power to shape the world around them, and JD takes pride in spotlighting this amazing talent to encourage the next generation to continually move Forever Forward”.
The campaign will run across the UK, Australia, Canada, South East Asia and Europe. Its central idea is “Forever forward,” which is meant to be reflected by the constant movement in the “bag for life” film.
The JD Sports bag has been an effective marketing tool in its own right for a quarter of a century, so it’s a clever idea to boost its presence in the advertising. Good work, but calling this a Christmas campaign is a bit of a stretch.
MAA creative scale: 6.5