Still from JD Sports Christmas 2023 ad showing three young people doing bike wheelies down a residential street with a gasholder in the background

A new campaign elevates the JD Sports bag to cultural staple

The sportswear retailer is launching its Forever Forward brand world with a stirring ad that celebrates youth culture, with the help of Kano (and his actual family)

‘Bag for life’ is a term associated with supermarkets, but a new campaign film shows how, for many people who came of age this side of the millennium, that bag might have had a big JD Sports logo on it instead.

Celebrating 25 years of the brand’s drawstring duffle bag, JD Sports has launched a new brand platform by Uncommon Creative Studio that elevates the humble bag to a symbol of youth culture.

Directed by Amara Abbas, the campaign film seems to have something in it for different generations – whether the uplifting, celebratory depiction of young people today, or the slightly wistful nature of the music choice, 90s rave classic Sweet Harmony (credit to the team at Factory for the sound mix).

Campaign stars from the worlds of music and entertainment, including Kano, Nia Archives, Joy Crookes, and Central Cee, appear alongside everyday people, all of whom use the bag for much more than just carrying purchases home from the store.

Still from JD Sports Christmas 2023 ad showing a crowd of young people with hoods pulled over their heads forming a circle with their arms around one another

“The JD duffle bag has been a central part in British youth culture across the years,” said Uncommon Creative Studio ECD Benny Everitt. “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.”

The campaign film is described as a Christmas ad, but there’s no hint of sugary festive tropes. Instead, the seasonal context, and the celebrity cameos, are handled with a refreshingly light touch. Just about the only reference to the holidays is a Christmas dinner scene with Kano, who insisted on appearing with his actual family to lend authenticity to the story.

Agency: Uncommon Creative Studio
Production Company: Iconoclast
Director: Amara Abbas
DoP: Nicolas Loir
Production Designer: Bon Walsh
Sound Studio: Factory