This week at MediaValet, we are dying our eggs, breaking open chocolate-filled packages, and hunting around for all the bunny-shaped sugary surprises. Around here, we take Easter, and our sweet tooth, very seriously.
Our festivities during this season never stop at the edible, and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to explore the power behind digital Easter eggs for marketers!
“Digital Easter eggs,” you say? “What exactly are digital Easter eggs?”
According to Wikipedia, “An Easter egg is an intentional inside joke, hidden message, or feature in an interactive work such as a computer program, video game or DVD menu screen. The name is used to evoke the idea of a traditional Easter egg hunt.”
This Easter, to make your season “egg-stra” special, we’d like to break down 3 powerful reasons why these jokes and hidden messages are genius in the world of content marketing, and offer a list of links that will send you on an Easter egg hunt of your own!
1. Easter eggs are highly visual
Over the last year, the need for visual content has taken marketing teams by storm, with audiences constantly wanting more and more and MORE! Easter eggs give your visitors, readers, etc. an extra hit of fun visual elements, and the secrecy of these visuals just makes them that much more satisfying. Vogue did a great job of adding a “secret visual” to their website, that gives its brand a little extra flair. By entering the Konami code (pictured below) on the Vogue UK homepage, visitors are treated with a hilarious image of…well… you’ll have to see for yourself.
2. Easter eggs add an element of surprise, excitement and secret knowledge
There’s something exhilarating about holding a secret that no one else knows, or being the first to share a secret. Brands take advantage of this thrill by adding an Easter egg to their website, app, and other content to create a feeling of exclusivity among those who know. SnapChat did a great job of this back in 2013, by creating an Easter egg that allowed users to send photos with black & white filters by typing “B&W…” into the text box of the photo. Users were intrigued, baffled, and a little bit jealous, when egg-finding friends began snapping black and white photos, creating an extra interest in the SnapChat platform.
3. Easter egg hunting, also referred to as gamification, drives deeper engagement with content or product
Another way that companies are taking advantage of Easter eggs is by adding an element of gamification around them – basically, encouraging users to actively hunt for eggs. This gets users engaged with the brand and spending time with the product more frequently. One of the clear leaders of this gamification is Google, more specifically, its search bar. There are over 25 different tricks, all centered around entering various phrases into the Google search bar. By adding these tricks, Google has given its users a reason to visit the page, even when they don’t need to search for something! Check out the video below of different Google Easter eggs to try:
Some of our favourite easter eggs
Google Antarctica Trip
Find Half Moon Island, Antarctica on Google Maps, grab the pegman in the bottom right hand corner of the screen and drag him over the southern tip of the Island. A blue route should appear where you can drop the man and have a walk around. Who doesn't love penguins?!
Wikipedia Easter Egg Entry
When you search for easter egg (media) on Wikipedia, you will see a photo of 2 rabbits looking at a hedgehog – hold cursor over the hedgehog & a message will appear – click the hedgehog for an Easter surprise!
Go to Asana.com, enable Tab+B under the "Hacks" section in "My Profile Settings", then go to your homepage and press Tab+B - you'll get a Tab+B (or Tabby) surprise!!
Wistia About Page
Type "dance" then hit Enter on the Wistia Team page and party with the Wistia team!
If you are disconnected from the internet and try to access a website in your browser, the “Unable to connect” T. Rex pops up. What you might not know is that if you press spacebar it turns the T. Rex into a game to play while you wait for the connection to come back!
Allison House 404 Page
404 pages can be a little lonely… Allison House’s 404 easter egg keeps you company with a little witty banter.
Click "I'm Under 21" on the Blackbrewing homepage. If you’re under 21, you’re not quite old enough to drink, but you’re never too young for He-Man!
Easter eggs are just one way to have some fun with your website and show off your winning personality! For more insight into making your digital marketing stand out, check out 3 Reasons to Use Custom Images in Your Digital Strategy.