The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt is now underway!
Surrounded by so much stimulation, it’s nearly impossible to capture the attention, let alone the imagination, of New Yorkers. One recent brand initiative, Fabergé’s Big Egg Hunt, has managed to cut through the clutter and resonate with scores of New Yorkers, including me.
Over the past two weeks, I have joined in the hunt and was so captivated that I felt compelled to share it in a blog post, with the added lens of a brand marketer. For those who are not familiar, in this unique, citywide event, Fabergé commissioned leading artists, designers and architects to design custom eggs that will be auctioned off for charity.
Five elements of The Big Egg Hunt brand experience particularly resonated with me:
Through this modern take on the classic egg hunt, Fabergé creates a lovely sense of discovery for participants. There is a real sense of accomplishment in tracking down the eggs but none are too difficult to find, making it easy to participate with little time commitment.
There is another element of discovery in finding new designers and seeing how they have approached the medium, a standard issue fiberglass egg, in such diverse ways.
Taking part in the hunt also encouraged me to discover more about the Fabergé brand – an impressive accomplishment for any marketing initiative. Last week I took my children to see an exhibition of iconic Fabergé pieces on loan to the Met. Seeing these classic pieces helped ground the hunt in the brand’s storied history and famed craftsmanship.
Fabergé has also done a great job of making The Big Egg Hunt relevant to New York through use of partnerships.
They enlisted iconic New York artists and designers (think Jeff Koons and Diane Von Furstenberg) and settings including Grand Central Station, The Met, and Time Warner Center for the eggs. What’s more, the final exhibition will be at Rockefeller Center, followed by an auction at Sotheby’s.
Despite this complexity, they have struck an admirable balance between the participating brands and created an opportunity to build awareness for each. Fabergé, as architect and curator, provides an overarching theme while each partner brand plays a role that feels appropriate and authentic. Rather than being muddled, the experience feels surprisingly clear and remarkably fresh.
An Easter egg hunt is inherently social but Fabergé made its Big Egg Hunt social in the 21st century sense by developing a custom app that enables hunters to check-in at each egg location using beacon technology. The app also encourages participants to share their finds and show off how many eggs they’ve “cracked” via social media.
The eggs provide stunning images perfectly suited to share over social media, where visual content rules. In my own Twitter and Facebook networks, I found these posts especially captured the imaginations of friends outside New York who couldn’t participate in the hunt themselves.
By applying gaming principles, this app has sparked a bit of competitiveness among participants – even rushing on my way to work, I felt compelled to stop and take a photo of an egg I passed on my commute.
In my mind, one of the most compelling qualities of The Big Hunt is its potential for memorability. I know the experience will live on in my memory long past the end of April. The event’s originality and multiple levels of engagement, from anticipation to discovery to accomplishment, have made it far more memorable than most marketing events I’ve experienced. What more could a mom ask for in a brand experience for her and her children – and all free to boot?
The hunt will also live on in physical artifacts, from the eggs that will join private art collections to the tote bags and mini eggs available on the website. Of course the thousands of photos on social media will last the longest.
The most important and impressive element of this event is its relevance. The hunt brings famous contemporary artists and a storied jewelry brand to the streets of the city for everyone to engage with. New Yorkers of all stripes can participate as much as they want and still feel fulfilled, whether they track down a few eggs over the weekend as I did, find all 229 or perhaps buy one for themselves. Even the auction component is approachable: most of the eggs are being sold online at Paddle8.
Ultimately this duality of accessibility and covetability is of great importance to luxury brands. One of the hallmarks of luxury brand is that they are both loved and coveted. In order for someone to covet something, however, they must first be aware of it.
This hunt has brought the Fabergé brand to the awareness of an entirely new populace across New York and the world. It has driven tremendous awareness for the brand and the values it stands for, from artistry and craftsmanship to innovation and wit.
Of course not everything was perfect. The share functions on the app could be refined and the limited radius of the beacon technology was problematic at times – in one instance, I didn’t get a notification of an egg in the building next to me.
Still, the Big Egg Hunt’s concept and execution far outweigh its shortcomings and I look forward to seeing more unique brand initiatives from Fabergé in the future.