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Compare The Meerkat: iSimples!

Simon Maddox strikes again! One of Europe’s most prolific iPhone (and Android) developers, the latest work from Mr Simon Maddox has hit the iPhone app store this evening. It’s a soundboard for Alexander the Meerkat called iSimples.

Who? What?

Yeah, unless you’re a regular viewer of television advertising in the UK, you probably aren’t going to get the reference immediately — but suffice to say if you’re British and you don’t immediately know what I’m talking about, the wall-to-wall advertising is sure to have caught you at some point… which means this Meerkat in an evening robe will get the synapses firing:

So what the hell is CompareTheMeerkat? It’s a website. It’s a spoof website that belongs to a Russianish meerkat by the name of Alexander who, it seems, is fed up of his website getting confused with CompareTheMarket.com. Which does car insurance.

Basically the concept is tried and tested: Furry animals sell stuff. The advertising agency, VCCP, decided to knock up an iPhone app to extend the brand — to extend the ‘heh’ you feel when you see the little meercat walk on to your TV screen.

What they’ve done is commission a soundboard app complete with an array of dodgy Eastern European cum Russian backing music playable on demand. The app consists of a four-screen soundboard, 12 sounds on each screen. Tap a soundbox and the related audio plays. I’m a particular fan of the “OMG” one.

Fundamentally the app doesn’t do much except to provide hours upon HOURS of pleasure to a certain segment of the population who will, I tell you know, be absolutely tickled pink to have 48 different meerkat-off-the-tv sounds to delight (and possibility, begin to irritate) their friends.

Here’s the main screen:

What’s important, though, is that CompareTheMeerkat is entertaining its target audience. This app is just an extension – like the website and the Twitter account — and I’m sure it’s going to go down very well. Sitting and playing around with it, I’m already developing good feelings toward CompareTheMarket for making it happen. I should also point out that, apart furry animals, I don’t know a single thing about comparethemarket beyond the fact that you can save, on average, 300 quid off your car insurance. With just a few minutes exposure to the whole meerkat/market brand, I find that pretty effective.

Nice one Simon (and VCCP).

You too can get hold of the Meerkat app (“iSimples”) in the app store with this link.

And, in case you were wondering, a meerkat is not a type of mongoose.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

7 replies on “Compare The Meerkat: iSimples!”

Best advertising campaign ever?

Not just the adds themselves (which are great), but the whole world they have created around Aleksandr Orlov has drawn hundreds of thousands of people in.. they even answer questions pretty much daily on twitter “in character”. I'm sure many many kids will have pestered mum and dad to try out comparethemarket.com.

The iPhone app is just another good step for them – bravo!

All of that went well and truly right over my head! Yet another good reason to living in the Arctic circle then! Oh and I have yet to see an iPhone up here too! 🙂

Yes! Google “Savukoski”… Mrs Santa Claus has her workshop about a 5 minute walk up the road from my place, and Reindeer out number humans roughly 10 to1…

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