SMOOTH SLEDDING

For the generation that grew up watching A Charlie Brown Christmas, the Norelco Santa Claus spot was as much a staple of holiday TV viewing as the Peanuts classic.

Bowing first in 1961, the animated, black-and-white ad depicted Santa swooshing over tall moguls with ease. In the ensuing years, the Stamford, Conn., client updated the spot’s look, showing a seemingly 3-D animated Santa, in color, using a sled that swooped about on Norelco shaver heads.

Norelco stopped running the ad in 1996 because “we wanted to focus specifically on the Advantage line of products,” said Bob Gaines, Norelco category manager, male shaving and grooming.

Tonight, the Jolly One returns to duty for Nor elco in an animated spot that airs during ABC’s Monday Night Football. The work, by longtime agency D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles (which will close in the coming weeks) features new copy and music, including a country-music jingle that plays in the spot tonight. As it runs through the season, it will also use a rock or hip-hop jingle, Gaines said.

According to Gaines, Norelco revived the Santa spot to complement the current effort for its new Spectra Shaving System and because of consumer inquiries about the ad.