For parents with young children Christmas brings a mixed bag of emotions. There’s the joy of seeing their little faces light up when they dream of gifts from Santa. Then there’s the fear that maybe this is the year they’ll start questioning whether or not Santa is real. Now, there’s an app that helps parents keep the magic of Santa alive by stopping any budding sleuths in their tracks with cold, hard (if totally fabricated) evidence of Santa’s existence.
The "Kringl" app enables parents to create believable video footage of Santa’s visit to their home with nothing more than a few clicks, and some bad lighting. The app includes five pre-recorded scenes of Santa doing his usual deeds: eating cookies, drinking milk, checking his list, searching for gifts. Combine this footage with video of your home, in which Santa convincingly appears, and voila! Childhood dreams live on. The app is also collecting donations for Make-a-Wish Canada to extend the spirit of the season for other children.
Created by Toronto agency Zulu Alpha Kilo, the app was an exercise in creativity and charity. Zak Mroueh, chief creative officer and CEO at Zulu Alpha Kilo says that each year since the agency was founded they’ve done something that has a positive social impact. "We believe the world needs more creativity. One year we used creativity to feed 8,000 homeless people through our singing Zuligans Christmas website. Another year we co-founded the People for Good movement encouraging people to be nicer to each other. This year, we wanted to create something that could be shared globally," says Mroueh. "Although we could have monetized the app, we decided to offer it for free and give people the option of donating to charity. We partnered with Make-a-Wish Canada because the idea of granting wishes and the magic of Santa seemed like the perfect fit."
Available from the Apple store and Google Play for iPhone and Android phones, making it look like the big guy is standing in your living room is remarkably simple with Kringl, leaving parents to let their imagination and creativity take over—like pretending that Saint Nick is munching cookies while you’re asleep on the couch.
Since reality is the key, Mroueh says there are few tips to keep in mind while creating your own proof-of-Santa film. The custom build app was specifically designed to work in dim lighting, because, presumably Santa’s not throwing on overhead lights while creeping about your home, so it’s always best to shoot in low light. Mroueh also suggests stabilizing your camera on a surface rather than holding it in your hands, and try to have Santa’s feet on a darkly lit floor versus a white carpet. "It will add to the believability."
And believability is key—particularly for parents whose children are growing wise to the whole Santa game, or those looking for an alternative to donning a red suit and dutifully snacking on cookies and milk each year. This is 2013, after all, so there’s an app for that.