We all recently spent another Easter holiday with limited access to social gatherings, and at Marble we’re interested in how different 2021 was in terms of activations and events. Back in 2020, Easter-themed events were the first to be affected by the pandemic, and previous to that we had seen experiential marketing – with a particular focus on customer interactive experiences – growing at a rapid speed. 

Account Manager, Kotryna, has listed her favourite creative Easter brand activations in 2021 versus 2020, looking back on how marketers shifted creative solutions into the digital world, marking their levels of innovation, creativity and execution.

Easter activations that had us shell shocked

Deliveroo: Invisible Easter Eggs (2020) and Mystic Easter Eggs with Mystic Meg (2021)

Deliveroo has a history of engaging their audience with limited Easter egg releases, and in the nature of being a food delivery service, the brand had a great advantage to roll out their Invisible Easter Eggs campaign in 2020 around London and Manchester regardless of the pandemic. Following a successful launch of Game of Thrones chocolate dragon eggs in 2019, marking the final season release of the famous series, Deliveroo came back with a fun and crafty concept, which strongly related to the 2020 environment. The campaign allowed families to get creative at home and decorate an invisible egg, made out of gelatine and purified water, with tasty edible decorations. 

This year, as many of us wonder how the future will unfold for the world, Deliveroo used the opportunity to come to the forefront with a lighthearted solution. The brand’s partnership with a fortune teller Mystic Meg, the nation’s loved astrologer, offered people in Leeds, London and Brighton a chance to order crystal spheres resembling chocolate eggs to enjoy this Easter. As Deliveroo spokesperson Aisha Jefferson said, with the collaboration the brand wanted “to provide Brits with much-needed joy and positivity this Easter in the form of an edible crystal ball.”

Limited edition Mystic Eggs, developed by Food is Art, allowed consumers to order eggs straight to their home with free delivery choosing between two flavours – milk chocolate or vegan dark chocolate. To top it all off, once cracked open, the egg featured hidden predictions for the year foreseen by Mystic Meg to lift up the spirits at home. Deliveroo yet again successfully showed that engaging their audience through the use of digital solutions is their ace-game, each year keeping us wondering what new egg-sellent limited add-on activations we will be able to enjoy during the spring holiday on the Deliveroo app.

Cadbury: High & Low (2020) and Google Street View Worldwide Hide (2021)

When it comes to Easter, many people think of Cadbury. Each year for over a decade the brand would partner up with National Trust encouraging families to go outdoors for a nation-wide egg hunt, exploring numerous natural heritage areas. In addition, last year Cadbury also partnered up with John Lewis and opened up a retro pop-up store in their Oxford Street shop that had to run all the way from March up until Easter. Sadly due to the lockdown both activations, the UK’s annual Easter egg hunt and the pop-up, had to take a U-turn, and could no longer take place. Instead Cadbury donated more than 30,000 unfound ‘spare’ chocolate eggs to charities, hospitals, food banks and launched a heart warming campaign “Show you care, hide it”, which encouraged families to take time with the egg hiding tradition at home, which could have been delivered well with the existing restrictions.

However, this year Cadbury showed real ingenuity with taking their creative thinking outside of the box expanding all the way across the world, encouraging their consumers to hide and search for giant eggs in various geographical locations worldwide, through a custom built platform. The execution of the activity involved numerous cutting edge technology and features integrations, like the latest scalable cloud technology and Google Map Street View, to ensure a flawless customer experience. 

With the Cadbury Worldwide Hide virtual experience the brand has proven that the experiential marketing and PR stunts are possible even in the digital world. It also shows again that the virtual world can bring strong gains in reaching wider audiences and set you aside from the rest with the use of quickly emerging new technologies, like the extended reality (xR), which can slowly become an important part of experiential marketing execution budgets. 

Galaxy: Enchanted Egg Hunt (2020) and Snapchat: SnapMap Egg Hunt (2021)

The pandemic called for digital innovation in the way brands communicate with their audiences. Some brands were lucky, rolling out their Easter activations just before the lockdown hit; for instance, Galaxy’s “Enchanted Egg Hunt” , an adult treasure hunt at the beginning of March last year with a one day pop-up at a central London cocktail bar. But after physical experiences were restricted, Easter brand activations had to stick to hunting virtual eggs rather than chocolate ones.

Snapchat’s annual egg hunt always proves popular, but in a world where physical gatherings are restricted, it comes across as even more innovative. The egg hunt sends users around the virtual “Snap Map” world to ensure they don’t have to meet friends inside, all whilst hunting AI eggs which can be viewed through the built-in camera feature. Similar to the ‘Pokémon Go’ phase of 2014, Snapchat’s activation used an already-popular digital concept and pushed it to new heights during the pandemic. It is brands like Snapchat, and many others, that have successfully pivoted their service offering and kept audiences engaged through a challenging year.

Easter is known to many as a time dedicated to family, and so brands that not only appreciated this, but facilitated it, were the most successful in pulling off their brand activations in 2021.

As well as seeing household names like Deliveroo and Cadbury provide their consumers with fun and interactive experiences, we also saw many brands pivot their offering to virtual, which is testament to how many businesses have tried to stay afloat during the pandemic. Pivoting could be as simple as shifting experiential to an online platform, but it’s those who push the boundaries – like Snapchat incorporating AI into an Easter Egg Hunt and Cadbury’s scalable cloud technology – who really caught our eye this year.