Meerkats are all the rage right now thanks to the recent ad campaign called 'Compare the Meerkat' - a clever ploy by price comparison company comparethemarket.com. Now you can buy your own, adorable, fluffy meerkat toys to take home with you!
The most prominent meerkat character is Aleksandr Orlov, a Russian, aristocratic, smoking jacket-clad meerkat who is brought to life by CGI. The ads are based on Aleksandr and his family and friends, who are believed to have lived in Moscow throughout the generations. His 'greatest grandfather' was called Vitaly, and was a war veteran of the 1850s. Aleksandr's grandparents also survived the great 'Furry Terror' of 1921. His father, Papa Anton, is a boxer.
Aleksandr is the founder of comparethemeerkat.com, which compares different meerkats, and as he points out is very different to comparethemarket.com, which compares insurance. He gets incredibly frustrated at consumers visiting his website looking for cheap car insurance, when all he has to offer is meerkats. His catchphrase is "Simples".
The successful campaign first launched in January 2009, when creator Darren Walsh first saw his characters appear on household tv screens across the country. As a result of the ads, comparethemeerkat.com became the fourth most visited insurance company in the UK, and now the loveable meerkats - such as Aleksandr and Sergei - are household names after having become associated with the hit soap 'Coronation Street'.
You can collect a variety of fluffy toy meerkats, including Aleksandr and his entire family, who come dressed in individual outfits suited to their personalities.