Norelco Popularizes Stop-Motion Animation

Kunle Campbell

When Norelco began using animated advertisements to sell their electric shavers and other personal grooming products in the 1960s, animation as a media form was neither particularly advanced, nor appeared regularly on television.

Into the 1970s, however, Norelco’s Christmas spots became one of the indications that the holiday season had truly arrived.

Famously featuring Santa Claus sledding on an upturned razor attachment, Norelco not only produced an advertisement which would be familiar for decades to come, but pioneered one of the earliest uses of animation to market to adults.

They did so partly by employing some of the most advanced animation at the time.

In fact, the ads were so successful that, when they aired during animated Rankin/Bass programs, viewers were often unsure as to what was a formed part of the show and what was merely advertising.

norelco holiday campaign shaving advertisement

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Once established, later versions of the ad focused less on Santa’s journey and spent more time displaying products to customers. By then, of course, the format of the advertisement was instantly recognizable and associated with the Norelco brand.

In more recent years, the ad has been developed to incorporate newer animation technologies such as CGI, retaining its familiar structure and commitment to quality animation.

Holiday Marketing Takeaway

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