J. Crew Sneaks Into Its First National TV Ad in a Deal With MasterCard

Of course it stars the perfect family

First came Donner and Blitzen. Then Snow and Heat Miser. Now, you can add J. Crew and MasterCard to the list of classic yuletide pairings. Well … maybe not.

The clothing retailer, in what is apparently its national TV ad debut, joins with Team Priceless for a 30-second spot explaining that you can now use MasterCard's MasterPass digital-wallet service to speed up and simplify J. Crew checkouts online and in stores.

The spot, by McCann XBC, is an extended riff on family holiday-card photo shoots. Dad, Mom, two sons, two daughters and a dog wear J. Crew threads and pose in settings that range from "Ski Lodge" to "Sparkling" and "Black-Tie." Doesn't that sound like fun? (These are professional models. Do not try this with your own ill-mannered, less-attractive family!)

Sure, it's feel-good corporate kitsch, but the spot's just self-consciously goofy enough to score. There's a great moment early on, when one of the kids suggests "How about British?" for a photo theme, and the whole gang morphs into refugees from a bad BBC miniseries, sitting straight-backed, prim and proper, each sipping from teacups … except for the dog, who's chomping on a curved Sherlock Holmes-style pipe. Jolly holidays, chaps!

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