The Meerkats Lift the Mood with Music

Meerkat Music / Take That

Compare The Meerkat


It feels like little by little, for some people, in some places, doing some activities, things are getting back to normal. Not the “new normal”, thank you very much. Just… normal. Seeing your family for the first time in months. Having a beer with friends in the park. Watching football on TV.

But there’s still a long way to go. The friends are socially distanced. Your grandma is wearing a mask. The football happens in empty stadiums in another country. Coming out of lockdown is slower than going in was, and that makes it weirder too.

It’s at a time like this that brands with familiar and much-loved Fluent Devices can really step forward, providing little anchors as people re-emerge into everyday life. That’s what Compare The Market have done with their beloved Meerkats characters in their new “Meerkat Music” ad.

The ad is a mix of the reassuringly familiar – Alexandr Orlov and his meerkat family, and celebrities Gary Barlow and Robbie Williams – and the strange world of quarantine: Orlov and the musicians are holding a concert that’s also a conference call. “That was weird”, says Robbie at the end. Is he talking about the reunion with his old bandmate, the socially distanced performance… or both?

What we do know as viewers is that the Meerkats and their antics belong to the comforting old world, not the weird new one. The music in the ad may be taking place on a split screen, but lockdown is just the setting of the story, not the point of it. The ad doesn’t mention “these difficult times”, it doesn’t thank any heroes, it doesn’t have any emotional aim other than to make people happy.

Which is an aim it achieves – 4.7 is a strong score and the ad also does well on Fluency and short-term Spike.

We’ve been saying all along in this crisis that people will respond well to entertaining ads with familiar characters. Compare The Meerkat have made one and, as predicted, viewers really enjoy it.

The crisis isn’t over yet. Adland and consumers alike will be feeling the impact of Covid-19 for months, maybe years, to come. But the initial shock is past, and one of the best things brands can do now is bring back old friends.