App-etite: Sympatico brings Santa to life

The portal has created an app that puts the power of customizable Santa videos in parents' and family members' pockets. is offering up Santa’s little helper with a new smartphone app that helps people create and view personalized videos from old St. Nick.

Though the portal has had Magic Santa as part of its website for three holiday seasons (though previously called Portable North Pole), this is the first time the company has gone mobile with an app. The site received 1.7 million hits last holiday season, and with the addition of the app, they’re expecting an increase this Christmas.

The app lets users input information that’s used in a customizable video featuring Santa Claus. In the video, Santa reads a card purportedly sent on behalf of the child, using the child’s photo, name and province, among other things.

The goal was to create an mobile experience that involved the whole family, Michele Ferrari, SVP, portal content English, business strategy,, tells MiC.

‘It’s about making the spirit of Christmas come alive essentially for children, but it’s really targeted at parents or aunts and uncles or friends of the family who really want to connect with children, because when you see a child open this video card from Santa, it’s phenomenal. That’s why we’re doing the contest piece of it this year.’

For every video created, is donating 25 cents to Kids Help Phone. They’re also encouraging parents to tape and submit their children’s reactions to the videos in exchange for a chance to win a trip to Walt Disney World.

‘One of the things we love about this app and the experience of developing it is it’s a feel-good project for us as well, particularly because we aligned with the Kids Help Phone this year,’ says Ferrari.

‘So you can do something fun for your family and get that added benefit of donating 25 cents to Kids Help Phone. Ultimately, we love people to come to our site, and if this entices them to do that, that is a great bonus for us.’