The Bank of Canada hid a digital easter-egg in its website displaying the new $10 bill, which was revealed on Thursday in Halifax and features Canadian civil rights icon Viola Desmond.
In the bank’s 3D display of the bill, which is available on its website, visitors are able to access a hidden video game.
The digital easter-egg can be accessed with just a few clicks of the “spin” button, which causes a modified version of Space Invaders, called Bank of Canada: Inflation Busters, to appear.
Playing through to the end of the game allows users to share their score on social media — and bring more people to the Bank of Canada’s website.
“The goal in our digital campaign for the new $10 was to drive different communities of interest to the note. That’s why the website breaks out all the elements of the note into different stories and images,” wrote Jeremy Harrison, Director of Communications for the Bank of Canada, in an email.
According to Harrison it took one of their junior developers 7 to 10 days to adapt an open source template and develop the easter egg.
When asked about whether it was appropriate to hide an easter egg behind a bill featuring a civil rights icon, Harrison said that they had a very powerful ceremony on Thursday that honoured the memory of Desmond.
“As I said, the ultimate goal of our communications campaign is to drive different communities of interest to the core Viola Desmond/rights and social justice story – a serious and important theme,” wrote Harrison.
“This Easter Egg is fully in service of that objective.”
The new bill
The new $10 bill was unveiled by Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz.
The purple polymer bill – the first vertically oriented banknote issued in Canada – includes a portrait of Desmond and a historic map of north end Halifax on one side and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg on the other.
“It was long past time for a banknote to feature an iconic Canadian woman,” Poloz said.
WATCH: $10 bill featuring Canadian civil rights icon Viola Desmond unveiled
Morneau said the deck was “doubly stacked” against Desmond because of her gender and the colour of her skin. He said she stood up for what she believed in and helped make the country a better place.
Desmond becomes the first black person – and the first non-royal woman – on a regularly circulating Canadian bank note.