Errors are fine. That’s why pencils have erasers. Wait, let me translate to Millennials: “That’s why there’s a Back button” or “That’s why there’s Command-Z.”
The difference can be all in how you view your errors. One of the most well-known errors in the digital realm is a 404 Error—a digital return-to-sender that tells you that you’ve entered an invalid address for an active page. Perhaps one of the best uses of an error page was Twitter’s infamous Fail Whale. It embraced the fact that the site was down and turned the whale into a thing. Yes, it was negative, but it became a part of the experience that people remember rather than an annoyance without brand identity.
What used to be an afterthought has become a chance to endear your audience in the face of error. In that respect, these 10 brands turned 404s into 100 emojis. Wait, let me translate for Gen-Xers: They turned 404 Error pages into something totally radical.
Pixar. Cute sells.
Bitly. No detail is too small.
Starbucks. Simple, artsy and on brand.
NPR. All things considered, this is excellent.
Kualo. Please come back after this one, because you’re guaranteed to get sucked in for at least a few minutes.
Air B&B. We’ve all been there …
Mail Chimp. *Snickers before clicking “Back.”
Bloomberg. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.
Android. Because games make everything better.
Visit Steve. Super awkward and perfect.
LEGO. So that’s what happened …
It’s a small detail, but that’s the point. Turn that frown upside down with a clever 404 page. Didn’t get enough? There’s more. A lot more.
Paul Gangarossa is a PR Executive and Brand Journalist at Dixon Schwabl, who reached level 5 on the Kualo/Space Invaders game mentioned above. Beat that and then @ him about it on Twitter.