Let The Hunt Begin: What Brands Can Learn From Digital ‘Easter Eggs’

Let The Hunt Begin: What Brands Can Learn From Digital ‘Easter Eggs’
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine

In this op-ed, Jamie Hoey, general manager of Australia at Wunderkind, reveals the secrets behind digital “Easter eggs” and how marketers can use them to garner deeper connections and increase loyalty from consumers.

The majority of us will have fond memories of family get-togethers over Easter, especially Easter egg hunts. Research from the Australian Retailers Association shows that Australians are expected to spend more than $2 billion on hot cross buns, Easter eggs, and other special food this Easter, approximately $400 million more than in 2023. But these aren’t the Easter eggs we are here to talk about!

In a chronically online society, what value can digital Easter eggs deliver marketers and retailers? In this context, digital Easter eggs refer to hidden or unexpected elements within digital content or platforms that users can discover as a form of surprise or hidden feature.

Almost anything Taylor Swift does… like ever

It wouldn’t feel right to write an article on digital ‘Easter eggs’ without first mentioning the Queen of the hidden message herself, Taylor Swift. As a recent example, while accepting the award for Best Pop Vocal Album at the Grammys in February, Swift said: “[The way I can celebrate] is by telling you a secret that I’ve been keeping from you for the past two years, which is that my brand new album comes out April 19.”

She regularly encourages fans to find hidden messages in her content. These clues, codes, and secret meanings in her content have allowed fans to predict album and song titles, release dates, and much more. They have also encouraged deeper engagement from her fans.

The takeaway? Nurturing interest, enchanted engagement and remaining relevant

There will always be cohorts of subscribers who lapse or fall off after a period of time. It’s about recognising which people interact with your brand the most and creating additional layers of value for them.

For marketers and retailers, new campaigns keep customers engaged and help them to discover products that might inspire a new purchase. Embedding digital Easter eggs into your campaigns can create a sense of discovery and surprise, leading to longer dwell times, higher interaction rates and a more memorable experience.

Google search ‘Olivia Newton-John’

Okay, most of us have seen at least one, if not more, of Google’s Easter eggs throughout the years. There are numerous examples in various searches that include mini-games, jokes, pop-ups, and more.

Gamification of particular searches—Wordle, Pac-Man, Minesweeper—brings up an online version of the game itself. Animations for particular searches. Google search.

The takeaway? Focus more on owned channels

Your brand’s centre of gravity is its owned channels. With budgets strained, marketers cannot afford to ignore the efficiency of websites, email, text messaging, and mobile apps to keep customers engaged.

Marketers can track user interactions, preferences, and behaviours associated with the discovery process. These insights can then be used to inform and improve future marketing strategies and help tailor content to better meet customer expectations.

“SSSHHH! What secret menu?!”

KFC’s Secret Menu has been available for a while now, launching unreleased and fan-favourite menu items for customers ‘in the know’. As an app exclusive, customers need to ‘swipe down’ on the KFC app and hold until the Secret Menu appears.

As the KFC Secret Menu is not always available and the items are constantly changing, in order to continue having access, customers must continue utilising KFC’s app.

The takeaway? Nurture brand loyalty

For retailers, a loyal customer is the gold standard. They’re the people who will keep coming back to your brand time and again; they’ll purchase without needing to be heavily marketed to, and they’re likely to advocate your brand without any prompting. Encouraging users to come back for more can contribute to increased brand exposure and opportunities for additional interactions.

It all boils down to keeping those customers you’ve worked hard to acquire happy. Getting someone interested in your brand is just the beginning; keeping them engaged and content over the long-term is the real challenge, and that means recognising the loyalty imperative.

Let the Easter Egg hunt commence.

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