Easter Eggs Aren't Only For Easter

Photo: lucato

I don't know about you, but I've always been drawn to products that have that extra little something in them.

It's always interesting to hear when people discover nifty little built-in "easter eggs," or extra hidden features that only a few people may notice inside of a product. These easter eggs might be hidden tracks on an album, special hidden features in a game or web application, or a special prop in a TV show. There are plenty of ways easter eggs are added into lots of things we watch, use, or listen to.

It may seem frivolous, and yet one more thing to think about, but hiding an easter egg in your product or website can help you build a better relationship with your customers.

Easter Eggs Reward the TRUE Fan

Sometimes adding a little unexpected something to your site or product can give your fans something to look forward to. The producers of the TV show Psych have included a pineapple in nearly episode to give fans "in the know" something to look forward to.

The true fans are the ones you want to reward, and giving them a little extra something lets them know that you care.

Easter Eggs Break the Monotony

Google loves to add easter eggs into their products: nifty logos, funny error messages, and April Fool's Day pranks every year. For a company that specializes in something as monotonous as search, they can get away with adding lots of fun extras.

When you have a web company that does mundane things, it can be a refreshing break from the monotony with fun, unexpected "treats" for users.

Easter Eggs Can Add Much-Needed Humor

Easter eggs may not be applicable to every type of "boring" company: you probably wouldn't want a fun or comical easter egg on, say, on the Mayo Clinic website. But companies have learned that humor can go a long way to adding a bit of fun. And easter eggs are a great way to add humor.

Humor is being used more and more to market more traditional, no-nonsense types of products like insurance, online stock trading, or even soap.

Look no further than Google's famed April Fool's Day jokes. Fake products like Google Translate for Animals or the Google Copernicus Center, a fake hiring center on the moon, make people laugh every year.

Easter Eggs Add Intrigue

When you hide easter eggs in your product, you give the user a reason to wonder what else might be hidden.

The PC computer game Myst of the mid-nineties was almost solely based around finding easter eggs and clues hidden on the mythical island. The game centered around the excitement of exploring the unknown and poring over every detail within the game for easter eggs.

Easter Eggs Give Your Team a Fun Project

Teams who work hard every day appreciate being able to cut loose and create something that doesn't necessarily have the pressure of (directly) influencing the bottom line. It's good for team morale.

Easter Eggs Can Be a Marketing Tool

J.J. Abrams is the master of using easter eggs to sell something. With Abrams' blockbuster film Cloverfield Abrams created 1-18-08.com, a site with pictures that the viewer could move around and try to interpret a series of events. Viral sites for a drink Slusho! and a Japanese drilling company Tagruato were both created to add to the mythology of the Cloverfield story. Abrams used these sites to tell side stories and add even more mystery and interest around the movie.

Easter Eggs Can be Viral

Easter eggs are inherently viral. What's the first thing you want to do when you discover an easter egg? You want to tell your friends. We humans don't want to share the mundane; we want to share the unique. We're drawn to it. Easter eggs are natural viral tools.

At the end of the day, easter eggs show an attention to detail to your customers. Sure, it's all fun and games. But sometimes it's the little things that make the difference to the person using your product.

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