If we’ve learned anything about marketing in the past year, it’s that people (especially younger generations) appreciate when businesses have a sense of humor.

Wendy’s iconic Twitter set the stage for this in the twenty-teens, but corporate TikTok accounts drove it home in the past year. The Duolingo owl went from an innocent mascot to an icon in 2021, thanks to their incredible sense of humor.

And while the owl is a great example, you don’t need a TikTok account to show your personality as a company. Something as simple as creative 404 pages can give your company the boost of personality it needs.

For examples and inspiration, read below!

What Is The Benefit of Creative 404 Pages?

Google rules everything when it comes to SEO. And one thing google looks at when choosing where to rank your page is your bounce rate. A bounce rate is a measure of time that measures how long a visitor stays on a page before leaving.

Improving the quality of your pages will improve your bounce rate. And while people won’t spend a lot of time on your 404 error page, any increased time spent on a page helps.

How does having a creative 404 page do that? In the best-case scenario, they laugh at your 404 page and screenshot it to send to their friends. Worst case scenario, they see the error page and immediately click back.

Most people will probably land somewhere in the middle. You can decide which action you’d take when looking at the example pages below.

1. Lyft’s 404 Error Page

Uber’s main competition, the rideshare platform Lyft, is known for its bright pink branding. But you won’t find much bright pink on their 404 page design.

Instead, you’ll find an “Ooops” message, with a gif of a car driving around a tree in circles. The car looks just like the avatar that represents your ride when you order service in the Lyft app.

The rest of the page is simple, white, and void of design, which helps the funny graphic stand out. However, the company has three clear options at the top of the page and a pink “Back” button to help users navigate away from the missing page.

It’s on-brand, clever, and has straightforward navigation to get the person back to where they need to go – all things that creative 404 pages should be. Good job, Lyft!

2. Heinz Ketchup’s 404 Page

First of all, ketchup in a glass bottle tastes better than ketchup in a plastic one, and Heinz’s 404 page seems to know that.

It features an image of their iconic glass ketchup bottle empty, with just a tiny blob of product coming out of the end. The title text on the page reads, “It appears the page you’re looking for is empty,” referencing the image of the bottle underneath it.

The subtext encourages the visitor to use the search bar on the header of the page, and there’s a list of their most popular pages linked underneath that.

It’s busier than Lyft’s page, but it still checks all the boxes.

3. Ready to Go Survival

You know the “which are you taking, the red pill or the blue pill” meme? Well, Ready to go survival, which sells end of the world-friendly products, made that, and a reference to the Matrix it’s 404 page.

There’s a matrix character greyed out when you hit the page, with the numbers 404 behind their head. In orange text across his chest, it says, “OOPS, Looks like this page got lost in the Matrix.” Below that, the smaller white text says, “You take the blue pill, the story ends, you end up on our homepage, and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland, and I show you how deep your preps can go”.

In his left hand, the matrix-inspired character holds a red clickable pill-looking button that says “Get Prepared,” and in the right, a blue one that says “Home Page.”

If you scroll down, there’s an email opt-in box that says, “Subscribe Today, Survive Tomorrow.”

Without knowing anything about this company other than what it sells, this 404 page is clearly right on brand. The two-pill approach is not only clever but helpful to the person who’s looking for a page that doesn’t exist.

4. The Lego 404 Page

If you’re a parent and you’ve escaped without seeing the lego movie, congratulations. The rest of us will, unfortunately, understand precisely what Lego’s error page is referencing when it says, “everything is STILL AWESOME!”

The design shows a stressed-out-looking lego character in construction overalls, with a desolate-looking background. The full text reads, “404. Sorry, we can’t find that page! Don’t worry though, everything is STILL AWESOME!”

Below the text, a white clickable textbox reads “Start shopping,” and the page has the same header as the rest of the site.

What’s so impressive about this 404 page is that even a child, who can’t read yet, would understand what the page means and what to do next. Nice job, Lego!

5. Your Creative 404 Page

We can’t describe the fifth entry on this list because you haven’t made it yet. But we have all the confidence that if you work with us, we’ll come up with a 404 page worthy of a best-examples list.

Learn how to work with us and make it a reality below.

Making Creative 404 Pages

As a marketing firm, we’re constantly looking for inspiration and new ways to engage our clients. These creative 404 pages weren’t our doing, but that doesn’t mean we can’t create something just as clever together.

Whether you need a 404-page design or are looking to revamp your entire marketing strategy, we’ve got experts on call to help. Book a meeting today!