How JD Sports’ Christmas Ad Breaks the Holiday Ad Norms

How JD Sports’ Christmas Ad Breaks the Holiday Ad Norms

News by Roberto Orosa
Published: November 28, 2023

JD Sports just released a 90-second short film that doesn't look much like a holiday campaign.

Made in collaboration with creative agency Uncommon, "The Bag for Life" is a fast-paced look at the day-to-day lives of urban youth in the U.K. It also shows audiences how the retailer's iconic duffel bag plays a role in their lives in a candid and authentic way.

Uncommon executive creative director Benny Everitt, who took part in the pitch, explained why the agency had favored showing the authenticity of the brand by making something "built on the streets," over the brand's usual celebrity endorsements.

"It has a model and we felt that JD is more authentic than maybe the work it was doing," he shared.

While the spot features several guest appearances, such as London-born rapper Central Cee, Kano and Davido and Ronisia, it remains sharply focused on the kids of Britain, who are the actual stars of the show.

JD Sports’ Ad Portraits Moments That Matter

Recognizing JD Sports' insights into its audience's desires, the Uncommon team dropped the conventional holiday imageries in favor of portraying the real moments that matter to consumers — time off and quality family experiences.

"It's the white snow, it’s the sea of presents under a tree. It's all these things that many people don’t have in their Christmas... But they still have something else, which is love and togetherness, friendships and warmth,” explained Quba Tuakli, one of the team's senior creatives.

The idea to center the narrative around JD's sports bag was an immediate decision.

The bag's design, a recognizable silhouette on people's backs over the years, presented a unique angle that would resonate with everyday individuals, allowing them to emulate their heroes.

"Other brands are always trying to hold their stars up high, above us... We thought it's really important that JD is probably the only brand on the high street that allows kids to dress exactly like their icons," explained Everitt.

Valuing authenticity over grandiose imagery and star-studded casting, the result was a campaign that painted the true Christmas experience of its consumers.

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