The mobile app helps bring the magic of Santa Claus to children around the world, including those facing life’s toughest challenges.
The Portable North Pole app connects children with a personalized Santa phone call or video in four languages: English, Spanish, French and Italian.
In 2021, the app reached millions of people, Alexandre Berard, founder and CEO of Portable North Pole (Chief Elf Officer), told FOX Business.
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“The portable North Pole platform generated more than 35 million personalized videos and more than 500,000 personalized calls,” Berard, who lives in Montreal, told FOX Business via email.
There are “over 90 different messages” with all calls coming “directly from Santa,” he also said.
“Users can watch their loved ones’ faces light up with unique personalized cinematic messages, complete with choosing your own adventure scenarios with Santa and/or recording your child’s reaction with our Reaction Recorder,” it says. Berar.
Outside of Christmas, Berard said parents can use the Portable North Pole messages from Santa “to help improve or congratulate their children’s good behavior” and can also get a call from Santa.
While Berar serves as the portable North Pole’s “chief elf officer,” he said the idea was actually his wife’s.
There is even child-friendly information surrounding the creation of the app.
“The whole idea behind the platform was to update the tradition of writing letters to Santa,” he said.
“First, because young children are usually much more visual, and most of them do not yet know how to read and write at this age.”
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There is even child-friendly knowledge surrounding the app’s creation, Berar said.
“As we like to say, a group of inventive elves contacted us to help create a console so that Santa could communicate with all the children of the world, directly from his village,” he said. “From there, the Portable North Pole was born.”
Special care is taken to ensure that the child’s name is pronounced correctly in the messages, Berar said.
“Portable North Pole currently offers more than 50,000 pronunciations in English, French, Spanish and Italian,” Berar said, “with 85% accuracy.”
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“For each name, we record all the different pronunciations. Names are pronounced differently depending on which part of the world you’re from, so we take all these nuances into account in our recordings,” he said.
“Users can then preview different versions before finalizing their video, allowing them to choose the most accurate pronunciation,” he noted.
And if none of the available recordings work, a person can use a generic name like “my friend” or, if purchased before a certain date, submit a quote to the portable North Pole team.
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Another advantage of the portable North Pole is that it is available anywhere, even in the hospital.
“Parents can access the app from anywhere to create personalized videos that address their children’s various scenarios, bringing normalcy to their lives through disruptive hospital stays or treatment around the holidays,” Berar said.
“Also, by providing those video and live call options, kids are comforted and reminded that Santa still hears them and knows where they are, even if he’s not home for the holidays this year,” she said.
“There are non-holiday video calling options that offer words of encouragement,” he said.
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In 2012, the Sustainable North Pole launched the Children’s Hospital Program. It works with more than 40 hospitals around the world, making charitable donations.
“Whenever you purchase a personalized call or personalized video message from Santa online, a portion of the sale is donated to a participating children’s hospital nearest you,” Berar said.
Portable North Pole has donated more than $500,000 to hospitals since the program began, which Berard called “the true spirit of the holiday season.”
The Portable North Pole has also been useful for families separated at Christmas due to military service.
For the past decade, the Portable North Pole has partnered with NORAD to “provide exciting live updates on Santa’s preparations for Christmas and his travels on Christmas Eve.”
“We’ve seen quite a few users in the military use the app to connect with family and friends during the holidays,” he said.
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“Those away from home can send personalized messages to loved ones and children, keeping the magic alive despite physical distance. Likewise, families at home send messages to those deployed.”
The app is available on the Apple App Store, Google Play and the Amazon Appstore, Berard said.