- YouTube added several Karate Kid-themed Easter eggs for new original series "Cobra Kai," which was inspired by the 1984 film, according to Adweek. The show debuted May 2 on YouTube Red, the platform’s new streaming service. The first two episodes are available for free.
- Desktop viewers will see a “Wax On” animation in the lower right corner of the frame when they pause a “Cobra Kai” video or “Wax Off” when they press play, a reference to a popular quote from the original film. A figure doing the iconic Karate Kid crane kick will show on the progress bar for viewers watching the show. Viewers can karate chop the navigation bar at the top left by clicking on it, and YouTube has added “Cobra Kai” to its logo on the page.
- Along with the Easter eggs, YouTube is focusing its marketing for the 10-episode series on data from its own platform, nostalgic teasers and digital activations.
Nostalgia continues to be an important marketing trend, and YouTube is attempting to ride the wave. Turning some of the most iconic imagery and quotes from the original film into Easter eggs on the platform will spark an emotional connection and could inspire users to watch the new Karate Kid-inspired series, which YouTube is likely hoping will become a flagship for its streaming subscription service. Other platforms and networks have found success with throwback series, most notably Netflix’s ’80s-themed hit “Stranger Things” and ABC’s popular reboot of ’90s sitcom “Roseanne,” which gave the network a ratings boost.
Hidden features or inside jokes, like Easter eggs, are a fun way to build excitement around a brand, because they make people feel like they’re a part of something special. These tactics also appeal to young consumers who spend a large amount of time on social media and report regular feelings of FOMO, or fear of missing out.
Platforms, like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, have touted their original programming as a way to build up their subscriber base and stand out in the highly competitive streaming services space. Netflix announced plans to invest up to $8 billion on original content this year alone. But, libraries full of original series and films may not actually matter much to consumers, with 80% of U.S. Netflix viewing coming from licensed content and 20% from original content. On Hulu, 97% of subscribers’ streaming was on licensed content, a 7Park Data study found.