Case Study

Santa Pics

Sherpa Marketing’s Director of Account Services, Sharon Knutson, began thinking about to what the 2020 holiday season would look like in the face of a global pandemic, realizing that many traditions would look a little different that year. While trying to figure out what traditions would stay and which ones would have to be on hold, she was saddened to think that there would be no annual family photo with Santa Clause. This sparked the great idea of developing an Augmented Reality experience, where individuals could take a photo (or video) with a virtual Santa, in an effort to maintain a family tradition.


To develop an interactive app that would allow families to maintain traditions by taking photos and videos with Virtual Santa, from the safety of their own homes.


First Descent AR worked closely with Sharon and the rest of the Sherpa Marketing team to bring to life our beloved Saint-Nick. Together we developed an augmented reality Santa with various static poses and festive items that users could insert to set the scene for a Christmas photo that rivals those at taken at the mall. With the option to have the photo printed and sent to the user. In addition to photos, the app allowed users to pick from a variety of dancing Santas to which they could record themselves dancing with and post to their favourite social media platforms.


Families were able to take photos with their loved ones in the safety of their own home. Plus, a certain “Fun Factor” was added to the mix with the inclusion of the functionality to dance with Santa. Scenes could be customized and modified, and multiple pictures could be taken until the perfect shot was achieved - which was great for parents with young children, as they often aren't willing to stop what they’re doing to take a photo.


First Descent AR was able to deliver the magic of Christmas and the holidays through the Santa Pics App in a time where many families were feeling isolated and discouraged. The Christmas Spirit was able to live on in 2020 through a Virtual Santa.