The Easter egg. It’s a symbol many of us have come to know and love. The tradition of decorating these fragile shells dates back to at least the thirteenth century. While the egg was originally a Pagan symbol of the earth’s rebirth, it was adopted by early Christians as an Easter symbol of Jesus’ resurrection.

Today, Easter eggs also take on a different meaning. They represent an inside joke, hidden message or feature. Typically, they are found in the digital world, such as within computer programs, video games or movies. However, they can also be found within books, crossword puzzles, advertisements and more.

The first Easter egg was discovered in Warren Robinett’s Adventure, an action-adventure video game released in 1979. Robinett included a hidden message within the game identifying himself as the creator.

Why Would You Insert an Easter Egg?

Over the years, programmers and designers have continued incorporating Easter eggs. At times Easter eggs offer the finder a necessary tip to answer a question, gain additional access or complete a task. However, more often than not, they are simply a way to give the user additional value in the form of entertainment. As a brand, this is huge. It can develop:

A Sense of Belonging with Your Brand

People clamor for a sense of belonging. We want it so bad we create groups out of darn near anything. Professional sports teams. Collegiate affiliations. Cities. Hair color. Kids. Lack of kids. Love of dogs. Love of cats. Love of polar bears. Those who are part of these groups passionately align themselves with other members. Knowing something of which only a select group are aware creates this same sense of belonging.

Positive Emotion Associated with Your Brand

Emotions are one of the strongest marketing tools available. While there are marketers who capitalize on fear, browbeating customers and prospects only lasts for so long. Brands which have lasting power are able to help consumers associate a positive emotion with their brand. Inherently, Easter eggs are fun. They arouse a positive emotion. It’s nearly impossible to discover an Easter egg and not smile.

Engagement with Your Brand

The nature of hiding an Easter egg means the discoverer must search for and find the egg. They are required on some level to engage with your brand. The more engagement you have with prospects and customers, the better relationships you are able to form. And as we all know – relationships are king.

Want to discover a few Easter eggs for yourself? These three Google ones are pretty nifty:

Unlimited Free Google Searches
* Make sure your computer’s speakers are turned on.
* While on Google’s homepage, enable the “Search by Voice” feature by selecting the microphone within the search box.
* Say: “Up. Up. Down. Down. Left. Right. Left. Right."

Barrel Roll
* Google search for, “Do a barrel roll.”

* Google search for, “Askew.”

Happy Hunting. And, Happy Easter!