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JD transforms London’s Oxford Street store front into world’s biggest arcade machine

Tom Bottomley
06 December 2022

JD Sports has launched the next level of its ‘King of the Game’ campaign, transforming its Oxford Street store front into a huge, playable ‘JD ARcade’ game with the help of instant messaging app Snapchat.

The augmented reality (AR) filter is one of the biggest of its kind and is currently live for gamers to play as they head to the capital’s famous high street for Christmas shopping. Top scorers who share their score with @JDofficial on socials could also win a prize.

The AR experience transforms the front of the JD store into a free interactive AR claw grabber that replicates the one seen in the ‘King of the Game’ TV commercial which premiered at the start of November.

The ad features a line-up of 32 stars defining sport, entertainment, and music culture, with Liverpool and England defender Trent Alexander-Arnold challenging Top Boy actress Jasmine Jobson on the iconic claw machine in a neon-fuelled JD games arcade.

To play, shoppers can scan the Snapcode on the corner of the JD Oxford Street store window, to see the popular claw machine arcade game appear on the storefront in AR. Alternatively, shoppers can point their Snap Camera at the storefront and use the scan function to unlock the AR experience, thanks to Snap’s Landmarker technology.

JD Sports Oxford Street

In what marks the first time a UK brand has turned a physical retail shop front into a giant, gamified AR arcade experience, eagle-eyed Snapchatters will be able to try their hand at the gamified grabber machine crammed with footwear and signature JD teddys, which also feature in JD’s ‘King of the Game’ Christmas film.

Nadia Kokni, Global Group Marketing Director at JD Sports, commented: “JD has always been at the forefront of progressing youth culture and supporting talent hustling to be at the top of their game. With this year’s campaign celebrating the spirit of competition and the magic of Christmas, we also wanted to push boundaries with dynamic experiences enabling fans to experience the energy and euphoria of the JD ARcade.

“JD believes that competition creates kings. Whether you’re performing on the professional stage, creating beats in your bedroom, or competing with your friends to have the freshest winter sportswear look, as the number one destination for sports fashion, JD is undisputed at Christmas and has you covered. The big question is are you ready?”

For shoppers that can’t get to the capital, throughout December, physical ‘JD Arcades’ will be rolled out via a retail tour across Dublin from 6-12 December, Manchester from 10-11 December and Glasgow from 17-18 December - where instant prizes can be won.

JD’s ‘King of the Game’ campaign is “an invitation for everyone to be king in their own chosen pursuit”. Jam-packed with famous faces, the new festive TV ad is soundtracked by Kano’s culture-defining grime track ‘P’s & Q’s’. The spot opens with a family Christmas shopping trip, featuring JD’s protagonist from last year, played by Northumberland-born actor Cole Weallean-Watts. Just as the boredom starts to kick in, social media star Chunkz catches his eye and signals to an illuminated ‘JD Arcade’.

Entering the JD Arcade dreamworld, Weallean-Watts immediately sees YouTube’s finest; Sidemen, KSI and Tobi Brown, challenging each other on the dance machine. Meanwhile British rappers Bugzy Malone, Knucks and Arrdee are seen battling it out on the air hockey table, alongside British boxing icon, Anthony Joshua.

Euro 2022 women’s football history-makers, Ella Toone (Manchester United Women FC and England) and Chloe Kelly (Manchester City Women FC and England) also stop by the JD Arcade to embrace their competitive spirit, as do Leicester and England’s James Maddison and Liverpool and Netherland’s ace Virgil van Dijk.

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