In the spirit of Easter, we’re taking a look at some of our favourite Easter eggs. But we’re not talking Yorkie-filled wonders or Smartie-stuffed treats. No, we enjoy a different kind of Easter egg here in the tech world - and that’s a digital Easter egg.
What are they?
Digital Easter eggs are fun features hidden within websites, apps and other software. Often stumbled upon randomly, these quirks surprise and delight those who find them. They’re often hidden and unpromoted, but don’t worry, we’ll be going through some of the most famous ones below to cut your hunting time in half!
Bringing joy like Cadbury’s
Easter eggs are a great way to bring joy to your audience with a less-than-conventional interface, and the discovery, even through word-of-mouth, makes people feel special – as if they are part of an inside loop. It also humanises your brand by showing personality, making your brand more relatable and easier to connect with.
“…They create this feeling of being an insider with the application or company, which can be incredibly valuable in terms of brand loyalty and engagement.”
Eric Peters, Senior Growth Marketing Manager at HubSpot Academy
Easter eggs can be a great way of gaining exposure. When you’ve heard of an online secret feature, you’ve probably gone to the website just to check it out. They can increase brand awareness, site traffic and user engagement by encouraging exploration.
And so the hunt begins…
Your internet’s gone down! You’re climbing the walls with nothing to do! Nothing to click on, like or look at. Well fear not, as the next time your wi-fi cuts short, head over to Google Chrome. You may have been greeted by this screen before:
A scary sight for most, but not for those that know! Just hit the spacebar to start a super-fun Mario-style game.
Google have plenty of Easter eggs to hunt for. Typing certain phrases into search like ‘askew’, ‘zerg rush’ and ‘do a barrel roll’ will see Google do some crazy things.
They also placed Pac-Man into their Maps on April Fool’s Day. This one comes around quite often as it’s so popular. Even Poke’mon GO started as a Google prank, so Easter eggs can be a great way to test out unconventional ideas before committing to final products.
Easter eggs can be a powerful promotional tool too. In December 2015, Spotify changed the progress bar to a lightsaber to promote the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. By signing-up to a specially-created promotional page, users were able to change the lightsaber colour by following the Light or Dark Side. A brilliantly simple content upgrade.
Why? I think the real question is ‘why not’?
This gambling website has it’s own ‘look busy’ function. Just click the user icon above the social buttons to be greeted with a rather comical spreadsheet to ‘fool your boss’ into thinking you’re busy at work.
They’ve really focused in on their audience and created a humorous ‘solution’ to what is probably a commonplace situation.
What it does show is a different type of marketing emerging. One that demands a more human-centric approach to create relatable brands that are easy to connect with. Not all Easter eggs are created equal though, and the ones that come out on top are those that require careful planning and development.Whilst Easter eggs can be fun, highly-sharable features, they’re not intentionally driving sales and conversions. They will not magically resolve low-converting websites, and if yours isn’t performing, an Easter egg is not a quick fix. You need to get the basics right first.