SantaTime App and TikTok Partner Channel Are Here to Save the Holidays!
December 22, 2020-
2020 was a challenging year for so many. When it became apparent that the pandemic would continue through the holidays, we wanted to do everything we could at AI Foundation to bring a little hope and magic to what would otherwise be a muted season for kids and their families. So, in partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, we launched the SantaTime App -- an interactive video chat app for kids to speak with Santa Claus from the comfort of their living rooms.
“I have four children, and the idea of them being able to speak to Santa in 2020 drove me to do it,” said VP of Dialogue Monty Coon who spearheaded the project. “It was quite the challenge. Santa has a very personal relationship with each child, and bringing that to life wasn’t easy. Training him to greet each child by name, how to coach children who have been misbehaving to be good, and making sure he can acknowledge the requested gifts was a lot of work! We also did it in a very fast turnaround.”
To help drive people to the SantaTime app, AI Media Lab launched a dedicated TikTok account for Santa called @JollyOldMan. The TikTok account garnered tens of millions of views and trended on TikTok. “Santa’s already an icon, so we tried our best to have a fresh take on the character. The idea was to modernize him a bit,” said Chief Creative Officer Rami Hachache. The TikTok showcases Santa exploring new fashion and dance trends as well as an unhealthy obsession with Mariah Carey holiday music. “It was a lot of fun using our tech to make classic Santa do incredible things...like ice skating at an Olympic level,” said Hachache. “It was also all done for a great cause.”
All proceeds from SantaTime were donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to help families in medical need and to support the institution’s long-standing mission: Finding cures. Saving children.®