• project
  • Operation Raptors Everywhere

  • my role
  • Instigator

  • completed
  • July 2013

What we hid!

How it started

For those who don’t know, the Condé Raptors are an easter egg on the Condé Nast Britain websites. Head to or and press the Konami code with your keyboard ↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → B A     Then keep pressing A for unlimited Raptor joy.

The Condé Nast Raptors started as just a bit of fun for our product development team. Around March 2012 we were putting the finishing touches to the GQ Articles project. I wanted to put a human mark on the teams work, something that stood separate from the corporate and money making drive behind the work. I found Zurbs Raptorize, a plugin to make a Raptor fly across your screen when pressing the Konami code. As a big fan of dinosaurs, at university I had a dinosaur playmate and dinosaur figures in my room, this was perfect. All it needed was a GQ suit fitting.

The first dapper Raptor in GQ The first dapper Raptor in GQ

Our first Raptor was born. From then on, each project we completed had a Raptor hidden inside it. Everyone joined in when it came to designing new raptors, it was an hilarious way to finish off a project. When many projects can feel stressful and draining by the end, this was the perfect remedy. Lead Developer Steve Carta, modified Zurbs Raptorize js so we could have multiple raptors on each site which would appear every time you press A after the Konami code… HERO.

The only people who knew about the Raptors were the product team and a small group of friends outside of Condé. None of the management or magazine teams knew anything about them. It was our fun little secret.

Until the internet found out

On the afternoon of July 8th 2013 I received this message on a WhatsApp group..

Jamie alerting us to the Raptors being unleashed Jamie alerting us to the Raptors being unleashed

A friend of mine, Jamie Sheehan, is a big fan of the Raptors and had told work friends of his. The tweet he’s referring to came from Jonathan Pile, without going into much detail they both work in the same industry. Someone told someone, who told someone... This is how the Raptors finally got out.

The tweet was getting a fair amount of attention and as the afternoon went on the traffic on Vogue increased. Anxiety crept in as we realised the time had come for us to confront the rest of the company with what we had hidden in the sites.

The rest of the company took it well. There was a few confused responses, not really understanding why anyone would hide Raptors on a site or what it meant to their brands. Fortunately the public response was extraordinarily positive and our asses were saved.

At one point 100 Raptors every second were going across screens around the world At one point 100 Raptors every second were going across screens around the world

By 8pm that night we had an increase in traffic of 450% on a usual 8pm. We thought that was THE spike and it would all be over the next day… nope, we underestimated the internet a little bit. The next day was fairly standard, though by the evening we started getting another traffic spike. This one kept growing, and growing, and growing.. dwarfing the previous nights. The raptors had found their way home to Reddit! This brought a 3000% increase in traffic on a usual evening.

The Raptors making themselves at home on Reddit The Raptors making themselves at home on Reddit

Rumours were now circling that Vogue had been hacked or that it was an elaborate marketing plan to increase traffic. We were told that Condé were not going to make an official comment, they wanted to let it ride itself out.

The spike in traffic was massive compared to our usual traffic The spike in traffic was massive compared to our usual traffic

Some Numbers

The amount of people who came to see the Raptors and the amount of individual unleashed Raptors is staggering.


Raptors seen to date


people unleashed the Raptors

they spent

1min 30 secs

on average with the Raptors

coming from



which is


of the countries in the world!

Raptors were most popular in

US 42%

UK 13.5%

Brazil 9.3%

Canada 5.7%

Australia 3.6%

Germany, Taiwan, Spain and Finland were big hitters too

the biggest spike in one day (July 10th 2013) saw


Raptors unleashed 

each person sees


raptors on average

and months later, there's still


Raptors unleashed across Vogue every day

Peoples Reactions

Being a big fan of Arya Stark in the Game of Thrones TV series, this Vine from her finding the Raptors made my day!

It was heartwarming to receive such a positive response from people and to read how the Raptors were making people laugh, happy and cry with joy. The antithesis of Raptors in hats being on Vogue was not lost on the people of the internet. Thank you everyone who came, and those who still come to enjoy the Raptors!

Media Mentions

Other media outlets wrote articles about the Raptors, including..


The Independent

The Gloss