The retailer, which had previously worked with McCann Manchester since 2012, appointed Y&R after a competitive pitch against BMB and Publicis London. AAR handled the process.
The brand had previously focused its marketing communications on womenswear in campaigns fronted by Kelly, the ITV broadcaster. JD Williams now wants to find new ways of widening its appeal as a more mainstream ecommerce department store and will seek to add more personality and purpose to its advertising.
Beth Lowry, director of creative and production services at JD Williams’ parent N Brown Group, said: "We were impressed by the Y&R London team and their work throughout the whole process.
"We loved their integrated thinking and they clearly share our ambition for the brand."
The brand will continue to pay particular focus its key target audience of women aged over 45, but has plans to grow the brand via a content partnership between Hearst and Y&R, which is believed to be a key reason for why the WPP agency prevailed in the pitch. The partnership is with Hearst Made, Hearst's content marketing division, which is also responsible for Asda and Jamie magazines.
Y&R, which rebranded from Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R last month, has been tasked with creating a branding and integrated advertising campaign for the brand in September for the autumn/winter season.
The fully integrated campaign is expected to run across TV, digital, outdoor, press, cinema and social.
Jon Sharpe, Y&R London’s chief executive, said: "JD Williams originally came to us because of our heritage in fashion retail. We share their ambitions and can’t wait to work together to make it a reality through our creative platform, communication strategy and the editorial partnership we have established with Hearst."
"We share their ambitions and can’t wait to work together to make it a reality through our creative platform, communication strategy and the content partnership we have established with Hearst."