Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
April 12, 2009 8:56 AM

Easter Eggs

What does a real fan love? A real fan loves it when they can find (and share) an Easter Egg.

An Easter Egg is a hidden message or inside joke usually found in movies, books, CDs, video games, websites, etc... created by the producer of the content. The consumer either knows where it is, how to uncover it or the precise time where you can spot it. Yes, the entirety of the program can be enjoyed without it, but for those who are really into it, it's the secret handshake and that little extra something to surprise and delight.

From Wikipedia...

"The term draws a parallel with the custom of the Easter egg hunt observed in many Western nations, but actually is derived by the practice of the last Russian imperial family's tradition of giving elaborately jeweled egg-shaped creations by Fabergé which usually contained hidden gifts themselves... This practice is similar in some respects to hidden signature motifs such as Diego Rivera including himself in his murals, Alfred Hitchcock's legendary cameo appearances, and various 'Hidden Mickeys' that can be found throughout Disneyland."

Have you ever watched kids during an Easter Egg hunt? Have you ever been with someone who said something like, "yeah, I know this movie is cool, but did you ever notice THIS!"

The craziest part is just how easy it is to add that little extra something into everything you do. It doesn't have to be something costly or extravagant. In fact, those who have developed some of the best Easter Eggs would probably argue that it's the simple and little things that really got the most attention and appreciation. If you have no idea how to develop that kind of culture within your business or marketing department, you should check out these two books:

  1. Pow! Right Between the Eyes - Profiting from the Power of Surprise by Andy Nulman.
  2. Made to Stick - Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath.

Nulman will walk you through the importance of putting the element of surprise into all of your business and marketing initiatives, while the Heath brothers have brilliantly constructed a book about how to tell stories, how to make them spread and - most importantly - why great stories grow a business.

Why don't Marketers spend more time putting Easter Eggs into everything they do? What is the real extra effort or cost in doing this?

By Mitch Joel


Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by Internet Advertising Agency
    Mitch Joel

    Thanks for unconvering some hidden meaning behind this very topical post. I agree if marketers could add an Easter Egg to their campaigns it would make things more exciting.

    Reply
  • Posted by Mark Dykeman
    Mitch Joel

    I absolutely love the idea behind this post.

    I suspect one reason why more Easter Eggs don't get included is that marketers think that most people don't have the time or interest to go looking for Easter Eggs, nor do marketers see a short term payoff for the effort, as minuscule as that effort may be. Moreover, some people might see Easter Eggs as an impure element in a product design.

    That's my guess - I'm not a professional marketer.

    Having said that... it's a great idea.

    Reply
  • Posted by John Wall
    Mitch Joel

    The problem is that Easter Eggs are more work. 95% of campaigns end up with everyone exhausted just getting it out the door, the idea of adding some free hidden stuff is too much extra work for most.

    But I've found that the last bit of effort is what separates the great from the (quickly forgotten) average.

    Reply
  • Posted by JustinSMV
    Mitch Joel

    Easter Eggs are a very clever marketing too to add to your arsenals but they can become very cumbersome and sometimes unsuccessful, however to some users they absolutely find it exciting. I say go for it as long as it doesnt take too much of your time ;-)

    Reply
  • Posted by Nicky Tillyer
    Mitch Joel

    It's a bit like the underpromise overdeliver principle but a lot more fun!

    There have to be clues that the eggs are there, but the analogy of the Easter egg hunt is one many people can relate to as an exciting secret discovery. I smile just thinking about it.

    Who doesn't love to be part of a secret, you could set up easter eggs and only give clues to your talkers and hope it goes viral...that would be fun!

    I agree with JustinSMV go for it as long as they don't take too much time and watch for the aha smiles...

    Reply
  • Posted by Christian
    Mitch Joel

    Love this post. I'm a big fan of brands being confident enough to surprise and delight people.

    So often, brands think that they have to scream about a new benefit and ignore the value of self-discovery.

    Check out this link that archives "easter eggs": http://www.eeggs.com/

    Reply
  • Posted by Banner Printing
    Mitch Joel

    Wow...really informative!
    Love your post!

    Reply
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