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Task 2

  1. 1. CompareTheMeerkat.Com – Marketing Media and PR (Case Study) Task 2 In terms of advertising and marketing, some companies use celebrities as a way to endorse their products or service and as a way to get noticed in the media, as these celebrities will have their own fan base and with that comes more profit.A company that have used this to their advantage and a good example would be comparethemeekat.com which is a website in which the public can compare car insurance, which through the years as slowly developed with there ideas and the mascots that are involved in these adverts which have become a familiar face on the television which both adults and children can remember and interact with. Developing these characters into other merchandise which is now available includingmaterial including imagery of meerkats which are not related to the company, however, the actual animal has become a product of the mainstream market, where it has gained a lot of popularity simply from the advertisementwhich has nothing to do with meerkats, which makes it an effective piece of marketing. Also, they are also very up to date and creating adverts appropriate to what is happening at that this whether it is the season or a specific event in the calendar. Furthermore, with the idea of anthropomorphic meerkats, merchandise has been created as an extra piece of marketing. They also are very well known for their television advertisements on a regular basis, creating new and humorous pieces that can be appropriate for all ages from children to adults, giving it a ‘family feel’. One way they have promoted PR is by getting Gary Barlow involved with their broadcast advertisement campaign found on ITV which sponsors ‘Coronation Street’. There is also a northern feel to theiradvertising, as ‘Coronation Street’ is a show that is iconicof England and is a significant part of our British culture. This form of promotion will really help to benefit the company, due to the fact they have chosen a family show to sponsor appeals to both the older and younger generation. Persuasive advertising techniques are used as a way of getting children to ask their parents for a meerkat plush toy, as the catch is that you have to purchase the car insurance from ‘compare the market.com’ in order to receive a free teddy. It is an incentive that will encourage some people to get the insurance just for the mere piece of merchandise. The car insurance company have utilised a clever marketing tool in the form of their inclusion of the term ‘Compare the Meerkat’, which sounds similar to that of the name of the company. As Gary Barlow has been used within this campaign, it shows that the company want to include celebrity endorsement as a type of a ‘promotional’ feature. Also, the fact that ‘Compare the Market’ has a
  2. 2. download/purchase link to Gary Barlow’s new album is effective, as it raises the profile of the celebrity. It is notable that since the advertisement featuring Barlow was posted along with the emedia link, his song went to number one in the iTunes chart upon its release, which means that this type of marketing factor worked efficiently and it enabled Barlow to receive a large amount of good publicity. On the other hand, this popular campaign has received its bout of negative publicity in the past, where pet meerkats do not live up to the expectation of the consumer and are difficult to manage. To back up this statement, Pam Mansfield of the Exotic Pet Refuge in St James said "Before the advert they were selling for £200 each. Since the advert they've gone up to about £400” ¹in a BBC interview. On the e-media platform, the website has taken an important role in the advertising. The webpage includes an interactive game which gives the public a chance to compare different meerkats, which is targeted mainly at children, with many links to social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google + which one of the most recent developments in social networking as a way of interacting with other people and sharing information similar to Twitter, as well as merging with sites such as YouTube that is a statement in the world of social media, as YouTube is seen as a place for the company to place there adverts for more people to be seen. Even though the website for compare the meerkat is less focused around its actual purpose there is a small link at the bottom of the website to then go over to the website comparethemarket.com. The interactive, e-media feature appeals to a younger audience, which contrasts with the broadcast and print platform in which the company uses, which is targeted towards an older audience. Therefore, the campaign is directed towards a wide age range of individuals, as opposed to a select group. Andrew Goodfellow, the senior publishing director for the Ebury Press stated in an interview with The Guardian “In AleksandrOrlov you have a fantastical but utterly convincing comic hero whose struggles we can all identify with. His ability to achieve his hopes and dreams despite himself are something to raise an unfettered smile whether you are eight or 80."² The company have instigated a form of ‘Brand Promotion’ through their other pieces of merchandise, which include Halloween costumes, as well as the number of books (that have been translated into other languages) which have proved popular, as the fictional main character of the advertisements ‘AleksandrOrlov’ had a book released about him, which sat at number 92 in Amazon’s 100 Best-Selling Books list in 2010. Other forms of merchandise include ringtones, voicemail messages, wallpapers for smart phones and PC’s and digital versions of the books. In terms of figures, the ‘Compare the Meerkat’ website has had around ‘3.6 million’ views, as well as gathering 700,000 likes on Facebook, as well as the primary character, Aleksandr, collecting over 22,000 followers on the social media website, Twitter. Hence, this shows the sheer success of an advertisement that has blown up in the media and initially, the fictional character of AleksandrOrlov (the main meerkat) has become a household name.
  3. 3. Bibliography: ¹http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/cambridgeshire/hi/people_and_places/nature/newsid_8716000/87160 37.stm ²http://www.theguardian.com/books/2010/oct/24/aleksandr-orlov-book-meerkat-insurance