JD Sports celebrates Christmas with celeb-packed spot on magical high street

JD: stores reimagined with some JD magic
JD: stores reimagined with some JD magic

Mockumentary and mobile game supplement main ad.

JD Sports is celebrating Christmas with a celebrity-filled TV ad that features Maya Jama, KSI, Jadon Sancho and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

The two-minute spot – called "JD Street" and created by Havas agency Cake – takes place on a magical urban high street.

The ad, which uses Toddla T ft Shaybo's Deserve the Finest as its soundtrack and is directed by Salomon Ligthelm through Pretty Bird, shows a young man taking a stroll down a high street on a wintry night. At first glance, it looks like an ordinary high street, but it becomes clear that every store has been reimagined with a touch of JD Christmas magic.

In a milkshake parlour called Jammy Donuts: King of Shakes & Cakes, Little Simz is having a catch up over a shake with Ms Banks. Aitch and Queen of the South Shaybo are serving up Jamaican patties in the West Indian takeaway next door, Jerk & Dumplings: King of Flava. Drill artists Central Cee and Russ Millions are looking for mince pies at the grocery store, Juicy & Delicious: King of Groceries, while Maya Jama and Michael Dapaah are running a questionable dog grooming salon dubbed Jama & Dapaah: King of Trims, which is frequented by famous faces who want their canine companions to have a last-minute Christmas tidy-up.

The ad features cameos from the likes of YouTube star Tobi Brown, rap duo Young T & Bugsey, lockdown breakout artist ArrDee, Love Island star Joanna Chimonides, presenter Joelah Noble, rapper Jay 1 and bike collective BikeStormz, a movement to end violence and knife crime.

Also making appearances are footballers Jude Bellingham, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ebe Eze, Kalvin Phillips, Leah Williamson and Jadon Sancho, who each pay a visit to "JD Street".

The campaign was created by Cake creative directors Alex Groom and Lex Deasley, with art direction from Alistair Dixon.

A range of diverse talent was behind the lens with the crew and young trainees hailing from Manchester, Liverpool and London – a commitment laid out by production partner Pretty Bird.

The spot is part of JD's integrated global Christmas campaign "King of the streets", and premiered during Saturday's Manchester football derby on Sky Sports in a nod to the retailer's Mancunian heritage.

JD aims to reflect the role it plays in youth culture through the campaign, which also includes a mockumentary, out of home, social, point-of-sale and a mobile game from fellow Vivendi company Gameloft. JD wants to bring audiences closer to the brand while reinforcing its high street dominance through a creative extension of its "King of trainers" positioning.

Consumers can shop their favourite items via a full-length, digital, stoppable version of the ad by pausing the scenes and browsing and buying in real time.

Launching via TikTok and JD social channels, the mockumentary takes the audience behind the closed doors of "JD Street" and into the dog groomers with Jama and Dapaah.

A mobile game takes players on a journey down the street, where they get a chance to collect points and win prizes from JD Sports.

Nadia Kokni, global group marketing director at JD Sports, said: "As part of our commitment to elevate youth culture, we're excited to see our high streets come alive ahead of the festive season. As the number-one destination for sports fashion, we're excited for JD fans to see the new Christmas campaign.

"In our 40th year, it's fitting that this campaign features an incredible 'who's who' line-up of talent from the world of sport, music and entertainment that truly represents the people shaping youth culture today."

Rosie Holden, managing director of Cake, added: "As lead agency, appointed to deliver the creative concept, this has been a unique chance to bring together all of Cake's strengths across culture, sport, music and entertainment. All in, it's a thoroughly modern Christmas campaign that plays right to the heart of youth culture, just like JD".

The campaign has also been executed by JD Sports partners including Exposure, MediaCom and Smartzer.

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