And it’s a 29-year-old advertising exec from London named Chris Godfrey, the New York Times reports. Godfrey created the egg account and helped moderate it with two friends, Alissa Khan-Whelan, 26, and C.J. Brown, 29, after learning the world record for the lost “liked” Instagram post was held by Kylie Jenner. That post was of Jenner’s newborn daughter and had almost 19 million likes.
Godfrey took that post as a challenge, thinking, “Could something as universal and simple as an egg be great enough to beat that record?” And on January 4, the world_record_egg Instagram account was created. Just nine days later, it would beat Jenner’s top post, and as of this writing today, the egg—which Godfrey says in named Eugene—has more than 52 million likes.
As for why Godfrey decided upon an egg, he told the Times: “An egg has no gender, race, or religion. An egg is an egg, it’s universal.” Since the egg went viral, its account has been estimated to be worth at least $10 million. However, rather than selling it, Godfrey and his friends have teamed up with Hulu to help put the egg’s fame to good use.
The egg has now appeared in a Super Bowl commercial promoting mental health awareness. In the spot, the caption above the egg reads: “Recently I’ve started to crack . . . the pressure of social media is getting to me. If you’re struggling, talk to someone.” The spot ends with a link to Mental Health America’s website.
We’d like to thank #TalkingEgg for shining a limelight on #mentalhealth tonight with an important message. Not everyone chooses to #fightintheopen for mental health, but you did for the 1 in 5 Americans living with a mental health condition. Thank you, #EggGang! ???????? pic.twitter.com/9KPlXG5re4
— Mental Health America (@MentalHealthAm) February 4, 2019
As for the egg’s mega-popularity, Godfrey told the Times that the egg’s success has been a fluke. “But it’s a fluke that caught the world’s attention. It’s what you do with that attention that counts.”