Comparethemarket.com unveils latest TV ad and viral

By Ben Bold, brandrepublic.com, Friday, 03 July 2009 10:55AM

LONDON - Price comparison website Comparethemarket.com is this weekend unveiling its latest television and viral ad starring billionaire meerkat Aleksandr Orlov.

Created by creative agency VCCP, the 20-second ad breaks on Sunday evening (July 5) and features the Russian meerkat addressing viewers from his mansion.

Through the medium of a Punch and Judy-style puppet show, including stick-wielding violence, he compares Comparethemeerkat.com with Comparethemarket.com -- the latter being the original name of the brand before the Russian oligarch character was introduced.

The spot will be aired on channels including ITV1, Channel 4, Sky 1, Five, ITV2 and ITV3.

Aleksandr explained: "Despite many fans of previous advert, peoples still making mistake.

"New ad will let peoples know about my meerkat business, not other website, Comparethemarket.com, which is for humans searching for cheap deals on their car insurance."

The previous Comparethemeerkat ad went on air in April saw Aleksandr joined by Comparethemeerkat's fictional head of IT -- a geeky glasses-wearing meerkat called Sergei.

According to the company, the introduction of the meerkat character has boosted quote activity on the site by 80%.

The popularity of the ads and their resonance with the British public has even led to an increased interest in the animals as pets.

A report on BBC Look North featured a meerkat breeder claiming that he had been visited by a woman who wanted advice on how to care for the animals after she bought two for £500 each.

The report went on to explain that meerkats are not suitable as indoor pets.

Aleksandr's popularity also extends to online channels -- he has his own Facebook page with 479,000 fans and 16,000 Twitter followers.

Comparethemarket.com was launched in 2006 as a motor insurance price comparison site. It now compares financial services such as current and savings accounts, credit cards and loans.

This article was first published on brandrepublic.com

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