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