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Advertising / Compare the Meerkat

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We didn't put up this image just so you could get cheap car insurance! is a series of adverts and a website designed as nothing more than Viral Marketing for an insurance website ( The adverts all take a similar format, Aleksandr Orlov, a russian-accented meerkat, will remind viewers that his website is for comparing meerkats, and not for finding cheap insurance and urge viewers to check they have the correct URL. Then deliver his catchphrase — "Simples."

The campaign achieved massive popularity and developed short plots within the campaign, such as a rivalry with a human Compare the Market representative or Aleksandr and his beleaguered assistant Sergei becoming parents. Aleksandr and Sergei soon became Compare the Market's mascots, promoting new offers like "Meerkat Movies" and "Meerkat Meals."

This series provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: The whole notion of Aleksandr running a comparethemeerkat website hasn't been mentioned in years and now just redirects to a general page about the characters. You can still compare meerkats on the Australian site, though that feature is pretty much The Artifact by now.
  • All There in the Manual: Aleksandr's autobiography provides a lot of character backstory that isn't revealed in the adverts.
  • Art Shift: A cross-promotional ad for the Shaun the Sheep movie Farmageddon has the meerkats animated in Aardman Animations style.
  • Berserk Button: Aleksandr blows up over people confusing his website with Compare The Market. For example, in this advert, he does a puppet show of him using a salami stick to beat up a man who asks him for car insurance.
  • Beleaguered Bureaucrat: Sergei, in early adverts he'd be frantically trying to keep the Comparing Meerkat site running despite being overwhelmed by car insurance requests.
  • Big Fancy House: Aleksandr and Sergei (and their pups) live in a giant Russian-style mansion. In later ads, they live in a high-tech modern house, but it's still quite extravagant.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Some commercials end with another character saying "Simples!" instead of Aleksandr.
    • Sergei's debut commercial ends with him saying "Simples!".
    • In two of the village ads, the schoolchildren say "Simples!".
    • In one of the AutoSergei ads, AutoSergei says "Simples!", prompting Aleksandr to protest.
    • The "Don't wombat it, meerkat it" commercials end with Carl saying "Simples!".
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Alexandr has failed to go broke, and has managed to stay rich despite being a complete Cloud Cuckoolander. Presumably he must be competent at financial management and knowing which Meerkats to offer.
  • Character Blog: Both Aleksandr and Sergei are on Twitter.
  • Charge-into-Combat Cut: During "Battle Of Fearlessness"
  • Cliffhanger: One Australian ad ends with Aleksandr and Sergei lost in the woods after escaping a pest control man. The next ad has them try to get home, but ends with them literally hanging off a clif. Lampshaded when Aleksandr asks, "Sergei, is this the end?" and Sergei responds, "No, is just cliffhanger!"
  • Doorstop Baby: Oleg the meerpup is found by Aleksander and Sergei having been left at the door.
  • Dualvertisement: The Meerkat Movies campaign has Aleksandr and Sergei (and in some cases, their pups) watch various movies in theaters, such as Peter Rabbit and Finding Dory, promoting how Compare the Market users can also get 2-for-1 tickets to see these movies. A few films, like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, even got limited edition tie-in dolls of the meerkats dressed as movie characters!
  • Explosive Instrumentation: The new IT department computer.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Meerkats and mongooses have a historic rivalry dating back centuries. "The Battle Of Fearlessness" is about how Aleksandr's great-grandfather led the meerkats to victory over Mongis Khan's hordes (and get wounded in the process, receiving a purple claw). On the welcome sign of the town Meerkovo, it says "mongooses not welcome". The twist is, of course, that meerkats are a kind of mongoose.
    Q: Isn't a meerkat a type of mongoose?
    A: NO! This great insult! Mongoose not good enough to lick dropping from my shoe! I am meerkat and I live in mansion filthy mongoose could only dream about in wildest dreams.
    • Aleksandr is also pretty contemptuous about muskrats when talking about his father's sideline, Compare the Muskrat.
  • Fat Idiot: Carl. He's a chubby wombat, who is klutzy and completely lacking in social awareness who manages to break Aleksandr and Sergei's stuff or intrude on social situations. Remember; don't wombat it, meerkat it.
  • Faux-To Guide: In one of the adverts starring Carl, he talks about the ingredients he put in the soup he made for Aleksandr and Sergei, but the red flag that quickly gets poor Sergei hospitalised is when he added a pint of chilli powder instead of the pinch the recipe book told him to add.
  • Flashback: "Journey Of Courageousness", "Battle of Fearlessness" and "Streets of Ambitiousness", show scenes from Aleksandr's family history.
  • Foreshadowing: Shortly before the ad featuring Oleg the Doorstop Baby, Sergei tweeted that he was glad he was only preparing Christmas dinner for two, and Aleksandr tweeted that Sergei's excitement about Christmas "is like having meerpup around".
  • Funny Animal: Aleksandr and Sergei are meerkats that act very human (live in a Big Fancy House, run a business, go to movies and restaurants, etc), though Oleg behaves more feral.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • During the introduction of "The Battle Of Fearlessness" there are two meerkats having a sandball fight.
    • In the installment where Sergei runs away to join the circus, at one point he's just about to throw one of the meerkat toys at Aleksandr's head when he turns around.
    • There are two short commercials in which Sergei is in the hospital. Aleksandr is in the foreground promoting the new meerkat plushies, and in the background Sergei has a funny interaction with the nurse. In one ad, his heart monitor mistakenly flatlines causing him to panic, and in another one, the nurse prepares to take his temperature, and when Sergei opens his mouth, she shakes her head and gestures to her rear end.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Aleksandr wears a robe and Sergei wears a shirt, but neither wear pants. This gets conversed in the spot promoting Peter Rabbit, where Aleksandr complains about how Peter doesn't wear pants.
  • Hero with an F in Good: A 2021 advert has Aleksandr recruit a group of other animals who are all villain stereotypes (The Don, Impossible Thief, Mad Scientist, and so on). They seem to be broadly on board with his plan to save people money, but have trouble with the idea they're supposed to achieve it by "doing good things".
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Alexsandr and Sergei - they live and work together, appear to have no other friends, refer to each other as "family," and raise children together. The villagers will talk...
  • Honorary Uncle: Oleg calls Aleksandr "Papa," but calls Sergei "Auntie."
  • Identical Grandson: An Invoked Trope; the Orlov Family History Trilogy makes it clear that this is Aleksandr and Sergei playing the parts of their ancestors.
  • Interspecies Romance: Sergei goes on a date with Nicole Kidman, who doesn't seem to care that he's a meerkat.
  • Jerkass: Aleksandr can be very selfish and rude at times, more so in the book.
  • Let's Duet: When Maurice finally confronts Aleksandr:
    Maurice: We need to talk. And by talk we mean ... do a piano duet!
  • Lzherusskie: Aleksandr and Sergei
  • Mean Boss: Zigzagged. Aleksandr constantly mistreats and overworks poor, poor Sergei. He does visit him in the hospital in one advert, but it's only to tell him he's 4 days late for work, though at least he actually bothered to go - and even brought flowers. Over time, however, Aleksandr seems to better respect Sergei as a friend as opposed to just an employee, though he still acts quite selfish.
  • Misplaced Accent: Oleg was raised by two meerkats with thick Russian accents, then moved to Africa, living with Ayana, a meerpup who has only ever lived in Africa. Despite this, when they both begin to talk, they speak with English accents.
  • No Sense of Direction: Postkat, Meerkova's only postal official. He wanders across Europe with cuddly meerkats destined for the UK. The video clip that starts his journey even has Aleksandr hissing to him "UK is that way!", when he wanders off.
    • How Aleksandr's ancestors ended up in Russia after leaving the Kalahari Desert.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: During "Battle Of Fearlessness", Vitaly is wounded and Serge holds him and screams to the sky. Vitaly sits up and says:
    "Quiet down! It's just a fur wound."
  • Pietà Plagiarism: After it looks like Vitaly died in battle.
  • Platonic Co-Parenting: Aleksandr and Sergei raise a baby meerkat pup named Oleg together.
  • Pluralses: Aleksandr tends to add unnecessary plurals to words, most obviously his catchphrase, "Simples."
  • Purely Aesthetic Glasses: Worn by Sergei
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Oleg the meerpup has big sweet eyes. This convinces Aleksandr to keep him.
  • Random Species Offspring: Aleksandr's nephew Carl, introduced in 2023, is a wombat.
  • Real Trailer, Fake Movie: The three adverts where Aleksandr talks about his family's history are also trailers and film merchandise can be bought. None of the films exist.
  • Retcon: Of a sort. After years of trying to get car insurance customers off his website and out of his life, Aleksandr releases a new advert which... offers a free meerkat toy to anyone buying from It's described as a thank you for not clogging up his site, but it still comes across as working with his greatest enemy. (The next twist was that Maurice [Aleksandr's opposite number at comparethemarket] hates the meerkat toys and want them stopped). This got even more confused in the Meerkat Movies and Meerkat Meals era, until the introduction of AutoSergei in 2020 seemed to make it official that Aleksandr and Sergei are now working for Compare the Market.
  • Retired Badass:
    • Sergei is an old retired NASA employee, but still capable of handling extensive technology, and a few episodes show that he can defend himself and his boss fairly well.
    • Maiya the Meerkovia schoolteacher used to be the meerkat equivalent of the Black Widow.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Ridiculously Cute Meerkats
  • Shown Their Work: Aleksandr's ancestors came from the Kalahari desert, which is one of the areas meerkats naturally live in.
  • Shout-Out: One advert has Aleksandr and Sergei recreate the famous "I'm flying, Jack!" moment from Titanic, as a result of Sergei performing the heimlich manoeuvre on Aleksandr.
  • Similar Squad: is run by a burgandy-dressing-gown-wearing loon called Maurice and his put-upon sidekick Spencer.
  • Signing-Off Catchphrase: Aleksandr ends most ads with, "Simples!"
  • Skyward Scream: Serge screams a Big "NO!" when he believes Vitaly has been killed in battle.
  • Song Parody: One ad has Aleksandr sing a version of "Don't Rain on My Parade" about the Meerkat Movies promotion.
  • Spy Catsuit: Standard dress for Agent Maiya.
  • Stereotypical Nerd: Sergei is the resident scrawny IT nerd, complete with big glasses, a dorky necktie, and a socially awkward attitude.
  • Stylistic Suck: Sergei's Caravan Club page, a masterpiece of multi-coloured Comic Sans.
  • Soviet Superscience: Sergei is a former Cosmonaut, one of the first meerkats to walk on the Moon, was head of the Soviet Space Program during the 80's and even designed the Mir(kat) space-station.
  • Tastes Like Purple: The tie-in book mentions that Sergei was fired from the Russian space programme, but still has a mug with a picture of the Mir space station on it. "That is why his tea tastes of sadness".
  • Tempting Fate: During the "Journey Of Courageousness" advert.
    Kefentse Ours is a simples lives, what could possibles go wrong? cut to sand storm
  • Theme Initials: In the book, Sergei's ancestors are named as Seri ("Journey of Courageousness"), Serge ("Battle of Fearlessness") and Stanislav ("Streets of Ambitiousness"). Aleksandr's father was Anton, but his other ancestors have different initials.
  • Think of the Children!: One advert implores you to go to "compare the" because all the extra traffic is crashing the meerkat's elementary school's server.
  • Uncle Penny Bags: Aleksandr is presented as an example of this trope
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Aleksandr is shocked to discover that the scrawny old meerkat Sergei got a date with the beautiful blonde A-lister Nicole Kidman.
  • What Were They Selling Again?: The advertisements are far more recognisable than the website they advertise, focusing way more on meerkat lore than car insurance.
    • In a possible attempt to avert this, the Australian version of the campaign has Aleksandr buying out and running the Australian Compare the Market company and website.
  • "Where? Where?": In an ad for the Australian market, Aleksandr and Sergei are pursued by a pest controller who thinks they're possums. The ad begins with the pest controller spotting Sergei and shouting, "Possum!", and Sergei looks around to see where the possum is.
  • Zany Scheme: If you go back to the original premise, the entire campaign — which now apparently includes monitoring a rival website's traffic in order to provide its customers with free toys! — is essentially one massive zany scheme to avoid having to upgrade a server.