Easter eggs and the Rick Roll

Perhaps you haven’t heard of either term, but there’s no doubt you’ve seen or heard of both.

An easter egg is a hidden treasure, usually inside of a video game. For example, in an old version of the Mac, pressing certain keys brought up a picture of the Mac development team. In various games, you might find special levels, the names of various contributors or logos.

The magic of the easter egg is that it gives your most devoted users something to talk about. Hey, they say, try this… It demonstrates their insider status as well as making them feel generous when they share the knowledge.

Tom Bihn put one on a piece of luggage, which became so popular it turned into a fundraising t-shirt.

You should think about rewarding your obsessed users with an easter egg.

And the Rick Roll? You visit a YouTube video promising some sort of insight or riches or scandal, but instead, quite suddenly, you are confronted with an old music video instead.

The Rick Roll is perfect because two things happen:
1. It shocks, at least a little bit. Not painful, but fun.
2. You feel compelled to Rick Roll someone else. So it spreads.

For two days in a row, I’ve talked about outbound marketing that doesn’t feel like marketing. That’s because I want you to more broadly define what you need to do all day. If it touches the user, if it involves a story, if it’s part of the product, it’s marketing.