Published: 24/03/2016 | AUTHOR: Emily Bray
Digital marketing and website design is often a very serious business, with much thought given to it, approval processes in place and rigorous testing. Easter eggs, however, are those moments where the developers decide to have a little fun, hiding a joke or interactive feature within a digital space such as a website or application.
Wikipedia’s description of Easter eggs even features an Easter egg of its own. Try hovering over the hedgehog and see what happens.
Granted this is not the most sophisticated of examples, but as an Easter treat we decided to pool together the best examples that our digital experts have come across in their working, and non-working, lives.
Digital Easter Eggs
One of the best-known examples is fashion publication Vogue and its use of the Konami Code, a video game cheat code that’s made its way into popular culture as an Easter egg on a number of websites. When you type the code, as illustrated in the image, on Vogue’s website you’ll see the page invaded by velociraptors wearing hats.
Another nice example is the Kitkat.com site, where inspecting page source reveals a beautiful homage to the wafer biscuit snack.
These examples are all very good and give a nod to the humour-fuelled incentive the tradition was born into but Sky Bet takes it a step further. Instead, it uses its Easter egg for a rather more practical purpose. For those prone to a quiet flutter in the workplace over their lunch break, the website has a neat feature for when you see your boss approaching. Try clicking the silhouette icon above the Facebook share button.
Google Easter Eggs
No one likes an Easter egg better than Google. It’s been hiding them in our favourite Google tools for years and here’s a round-up of some of the best.
The Chrome ‘unable to connect’ dinosaur is a firm favourite. Making light of the upsetting situation you find yourself in when unable to connect to the internet, Chrome then provides you with a retro-styled run-and-jump game while you wait for your connectivity to restore, before forgetting what page you were looking for in the first place.
Google also makes chatting more lively with several Easter eggs to decorate your Hangouts chat space. Have more of a colourful personality? Try hitting “/bikeshed” to change the background colour. Not impressed? Type in “/ponystream” – because who doesn’t like My Little Pony trotting around their chat screen?
Google Maps is another prime space for Easter eggs. Having covered everything from walking directions from The Shire to Mordor in celebration of The Lord of the Rings, to the option of travelling by dragon between Snowdon and the Brecon Beacons, the Maps team know how to have a good time.
Of course, not forgetting Google Search, which has plenty of hidden secrets itself. Here’s our top three –
Sadly, there’s no cryptic way of putting this one, nonetheless it’s a fun example – try typing “do a barrel roll” into Google Search and let the good times roll. “Askew” also has a similar tickler.
Let’s never forget that Google will always make time for wit. Typing in ‘anagram’ returns, well, an anagram.
Then there’s the classic ‘Bacon’ number. Ever wondered how many people link actor Kevin Bacon to national treasure Michael Caine?
The answer is two.
The Bacon number concept began life as a parlour game based on the “six degrees of separation” theory that any two people could be connected in six acquaintances or less. Google took this on in this Easter egg, making it easy to decipher the tenuous links between major and minor celebrities.
Interestingly, Kevin Bacon has since set up a charity named SixDegrees.org, where everyday activities are used to connect people and causes.
YouTube Easter Eggs
Being Google-owned, it’s not surprising that YouTube hosts a few Easter eggs of its own.
Just try typing “do the Harlem Shake” into the YouTube search bar, put your headphones in, and enjoy.
Similarly, because Star Wars should never be left out of such comedy, “Use the force Luke” returns some psychedelic results. Though watch out for the video listings, arachnophobes do not need to see “Big Spider Attacks Lightsaber.”
Facebook Easter Eggs
Not wishing to be left behind, social media has also got involved. Facebook boasts its own Easter eggs, secrets and tricks.
You might have been the victim of a prank where your phone language settings have been changed – making it notoriously difficult to change back – but Facebook saw a gap in the market. Filling this gap, Facebook gave us the “Pirate” language setting. To try it out go to settings, language and select English (Pirate) from the drop down and be ready to “argh” with the best of them. You might also notice that English (Upside Down) is an option – not recommended for the easily queasy or disorientated.
Another favourite Facebook fact is that the globe icon changes depending on where you are in the world. Yes, it’s like that time you realised that not all maps were drawn with Britain in the centre – mind blowing.
Think we’ve missed any Easter eggs? Share them with us on Twitter.