Easter Eggs and the Long (Con)tent Marketing Play

Easter eggs! Not the chocolate variety, but the kind you find in Marvel movies. A reference back to another part of the pantheon or a shout out to a fellow maker whose work inspires you.

They’re hard to spot and they won’t be seen by 90% of the people who watch the film. They’re for the die-hard fans and that is exactly the point.

Take this example of Stephen Spielberg in Raiders of the Lost Ark famously referencing his good friend and collaborator George Lucas. In a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, Stephen pays homage to Lucas by including Star Wars beloved droids R2D2 and C3PO as ancient hieroglyphs on an ancient temple wall.

It makes sense then, that just as Easter eggs became popular through geeky movies, that they should gain ascendancy in the Content Marketing world through a geeky brand.

Enter Wyrmwood Gaming: A brilliant woodworking business out of the States that make fine quality, dice trays for tabletop role-playing games. They’re also proud sponsors of the popular D&D show Critical Role.

9 months ago the Critical Role team released an animated short as an advertisement for D&D Beyond. It was centered around a song written by one of the cast members Sam Riegel and it became a viral hit.

The lyrics went as follows:

You got the perfect warlock,
Her weapons and supplies,
But you need a place to track your stuff,
cause you’re so disorganized,
You click open a web page,
You heard about on Critical Role,
And now you’re ready to kick some butt,
in a mine shaft full of gnolls,
it’s D&D! (D&D),
Yeah! D&D Beyond!
Yeah D&D! (D&D),
Yeah! D&D Beyond!
You got your stats,
You got your swords,
And you got your invisible wand!
It’s D&D (D&D),
D&D (D&D),
D&D Beyond.

What Wyrmwood did next was pure genius, they took part in a long con. A Twitter strategy that was so devious in nature that not even the most hardcore fan could ruin the reveal.

Every tweet for the previous two months had started with a word that, when read together, made up the lyrics of the D&D Beyond jingle in reverse. A company that averaged around 100 likes per post on a good day with a top end of around 5.0k suddenly had a 14.0k tweet.

They’d delivered an unbelievable easter egg and in doing so, tightened their affinity with Critical Role in an invaluable way. Not only had they created something worthy of their audience’s attention, but they’d also surprised and delighted the cast, who in turn supercharged their tweet and helped them spread the word.

What easter eggs lay unfounded in your businesses? Could you execute on a similar long con? Are you making the most of your partnerships? Are you creating work, (even in your marketing) that surprises and delights them in a profound way? That’s work worth thinking about and that’s my thought of the day.

Mike Drysdale

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