The huge success of comparethemarket.com’s ad campaign featuring meerkat character Aleksandr Orlov has given a boost to the TV ad sector, according to a news report.
Speaking to the Guardian this weekend, Ian Millner, co-founder of ad agency Iris, said price comparison websites are “ploughing money into TV advertising, where agencies can make their name with creative ideas, because with no real-world presence these websites win or lose on their brand marketing”.
Since hitting TV screens last January the meerkat character Aleksandr Orlov’s impact on the ad industry has been compared to that of Howard Brown on banking advertising after the all-singing, all-dancing Halifax employee debuted on TV on Boxing Day 2000.
In 2006 about £35m was spent on advertising by price comparison websites, according to Mintel. For the year to the end of October 2009, the sector’s ad spend was about £85m, according to research firm the Nielsen Company.
Prior to Orlov’s arrival Comparethemarket.com was an also-ran in its sector, ranking in the low teens of a crowded market. The website is now the fourth most popular UK price comparison site, according to Mintel. It ranks behind leader Moneysupermarket.com, with Confused.com second and Gocompare.com third.
“The website aggregation market is like a saviour for the ad industry,” said Ian Millner, co-founder of ad agency Iris, which narrowly missed winning the pitch to develop Confused.com’s next ad campaign.
“Agencies are falling over themselves to get an ad account from one of the players. They are ploughing money into TV advertising, where agencies can make their name with creative ideas, because with no real-world presence these websites win or lose on their brand marketing.”
More than 80% of the £85m spent on advertising by the main handful of players was on TV advertising, according to TNC, with 95% of Comparethemarket.com’s £13m annual budget directed at TV ads.
To read the full Guardian article, click here.