Hit or Miss?: Comparethemarket.com mascot releases 'autobiography'

Aleksandr the Great: News broke this week that the autobiography of Aleksandr Orlov, the fictitious meerkat who stars in TV adverts for price comparison website comparethemarket.com, has soared into Amazon's Top 100 books on pre-orders alone.

The media are tipping 'A Simples Life, My Life & Times', which went on sale this week, to top the Christmas book charts. The Guardian, The Independent and Metro all picked up the story.

HOW I SEE IT - JASON GALLUCCI, MD, LEXIS PR

If someone had told me that, at the age of 40 and after 15 years in PR, I would be reviewing an autobiography by a fictional meerkat, I might have followed my parents' wishes and 'got a proper job'. Then again, how fantastic. Does this work from a PR perspective? My answer is simples - yes.

This is not a serious literary novel, but a very clever piece of brand extension.

We build brands to trigger a subconscious reaction of awareness, understanding and emotion. Comparethemarket.com's now famous character fires those synaptic connections when you just hear his voice.

The TV campaign is building our level of understanding and affection for the character and brand with more detailed plots. And as a PR platform, the book is extending his fame. I can't wait for the movie - HIT.

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