Keeping up with Compare the Market
There is an advert for Admiral Insurance on TV at the moment. It isn’t a remarkable advert, although I’m now thinking and writing about it, so I guess it’s better than I give it credit for. ‘The Admiral’ and her team were sitting in a room thinking about ideas how to market their brand.
One of the characters held a creepy doll mock-up of the Admiral, saying that they should give these toys to their customers. Sounds like another insurance company, right? The idea was then blown off and they decided that they should market their brand with a deal that would actually benefit their customers, rather than the pointless promotional toys.
The Admiral advert may be mocking the idea of Compare the Market’s promotional giveaways and their long-running marketing campaign but there is no denying its incredible success. Before Aleksandr Orlov and Sergei graced our screens, Compare the Market was a middling comparison site. Even a year after the campaign launched in 2009, it had moved up behind Moneysupermarket, Confused.com and GoCompare.
The success of the Eastern European meerkats panicked their rivals. MoneySupermarket changed their marketing strategy and GoCompare created the well-known moustachioed opera singer. The comedic singer was named as the single most irritating thing of 2009.
The meerkats first hopped off the screen and into the country’s homes in 2011. Compare the Market offered the promotional toy meerkat to everyone who bought insurance off their site. It didn’t stop there.
The toys are now part of marketing campaigns of some of the most recognisable brands in the world. To mark the launch of the Batman v Superman film two new promotional toys were released with them in Batman and Superman suits. Even now there is a Frozen version of the promotional toys. A couple of new meerkat characters are involved in this advert, but the meerkat versions of Anna and Olaf are available too.
These toys were the second best-selling soft toys in the UK in both 2015 and 2016. They were second only to Disney toys. The soft promotional toys are now branching across to Compare the Market’s Australian site.
It’s been just under eight years since the launch of the marketing campaign that has seen spin-off websites, best-selling books and promotional toys. Other companies have tried to match the success of the characters, and now Admiral’s tactic is to show off the fact they’re more focused on customers than providing a promotional toy.
Compare the Market aren’t the first company to market their brand with promotional toy giveaways, PG Tips Monkey is another high-profile toy, but they may have had the biggest success with it.
Promotional products can have many different uses. They can be used to promote your charity or they can be used as the forefront of one of the most notable marketing successes in the UK.