There’s this campaign right, it’s called Compare The Meerkat, it’s for an insurance comparison website called Compare The Market, the ad is a bit funny. I could try and describe it, but it’s easier to show you:
Yes it’s all about a word gag. But it works. It’s embedded itself in my head. Ask me to think of a comparison website right now and I know what I’ll think of first. Well not actually right now, because I’m writing about it so I’d obviously think about it first, but generally I think it’s done a good job of using a weird device to get me to think about meerkats when I think about comparing. So psychologically they’ve done a smart thing – I think.
The numbers raise a load of questions…
- On YouTube the ad’s not had loads of views. Does that matter?
- No idea of traffic to: http://www.comparethemeerkat.com/ – it’s a pretty basic site, but there’s no point in spending any more on it really, it does it’s job as a spoof.
- But people ‘seem’ to like the Meerkat chap – he’s got 65,000 fans on Facebook FFS!
- And there are over 1,000 wall posts – that’s pretty phenomenal in my book – given the fact that it’s just a novelty thing
But here’s where it gets a bit fishy…
Aleksandr Orlov (the Meerkat) started following me on Twitter a while ago. And if you go and look at his Twitter page he’s following a huge number of very well-followed people… Dave Winer, Biz Stone, Om Malik, Tom Coates, Evan Williams, Jason Calacanis, etc. etc. etc. And he’s following 2,000 people with 1,800 followers which just isn’t natural, is it?
I’m not sure what the ethics of this kind of thing are. Or why it bothers me so much. All I know is that it makes me feel a bit yucky. And stops me from liking Meerkats.
Whoever is playing the part of Aleksandr is working it pretty hard. And doing lots of @replies. Which isn’t a bad thing when you’ve got a character that people like. It’s just the follower-spamming I find a bit scary.