Content Marketing Blog

Why marketers should give Easter Eggs this Christmas

It’s hard not to love Easter egg hunts – the thrill of the search and the chocolatey reward at the end of it all. If you’re a bit old to be rummaging through the bushes looking for chocolate eggs but miss all the excitement, you might enjoy the virtual equivalent. I’m not talking about chocolate slide shows or YouTube clips of Easter egg hunts gone wrong – but hidden digital surprises around the web. Try typing “do a barrel roll” into Google, for example. This idea isn’t new. In fact, hidden electronic treats originated in early video games where the Konami code (up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A) was a common way for gamers to access new levels, cheat modes and other little surprises courtesy of the developers. It didn’t take long for the tech heads to move the idea online, and savvy users soon began seeking out and sharing all kinds of virtual Easter eggs. Google is a serial egg producer, but smaller companies and even super-confident interns are joining in the fun. Alex Martinez, an intern at digital design company Viget, embedded an egg into his tumblr page (just type in ‘mario’). Even sites as established and serious as Vogue are in on it – try the Konami code on this one for something a little unexpected. Marketing eggs What’s even more surprising though, is that these eggs are still primarily used as a bit of fun rather than as a marketing tool. That’s why any marketer looking to reach their audience in new ways should be considering offering their clients an Easter egg surprise this Christmas. Crowd funding site Kickstarter is one brand already reaping the benefits of this idea. When you repeatedly click the small green scissors at the bottom of the homepage, you’ll be congratulated with a short message and the offer to sign up for a newsletter for all the inside info from the company. Any business can create its own virtual Easter egg hunt. An online retailer might offer shoppers a discount code for their next purchase; a marketing company could embed hidden links to follow their Twitter page; a politician might even include a video of behind-the-scenes footage of their campaign to boost their personal brand. Digital printing company Moo.com did it right when it used Easter eggs as a marketing campaign, and even rewarded its hunters for their efforts. Viral eggsEven the pages that don’t offer a real takeaway from Easter eggs benefit from the kudos of having clever or entertaining surprises on their sites. Bloggers love searching for these pages, compiling lists of companies large and small that offer that little bit extra, and sharing them with their followers. It doesn’t have to be as flash as what happens when you type ‘zerg rush’ into Google, or the Konami code followed by enter into a Google doc (this is a good one to try when a coworker steps away from their desk), it simply has to be there. Alternate colour schemes, a message from the CEO, a hidden page or interesting quote are all simple yet enjoyable and potentially viral eggs you could try. Get the ball rolling on your new site addition by letting a few of your most active social media followers in on the secret. The more fun, entertaining or useful it is, the more people you’ll have heading to your page to check it out. Unlike real Easter eggs, the digital version won’t require you to don furry bunny ears, they have a far longer shelf life, and most importantly, are something everyone wants to share. By Hayley Clark