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Advertisment campaign : Comparethemarke.com

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An autobiography by a meerkat who speaks with a cod Russian accent, splatters conversation with his “simple’s” catchphrase and wears a dressing-gown is being tipped as the literary sensation of the year and is expected to beat the likes of Nelson Mandela, Keith Richards and Tony Blair to the top book slot in the Christmas market.

The meerkat in question is Aleksandr Orlov, the advertising creation that has helped the price comparison website comparethemarket.com to earn a record £60m this year. The free publicity in newspaper articles and other spin-offs – Orlov has 750,000 Facebook fans, 40,000 followers on Twitter and his iPhone application has been downloaded 700,000 times – can’t have hurt.

The “autobiography” – A Simples Life, My Life and Times – topped the Amazon Movers and Shakers list when news of its impending publication was announced last month. The book has remained in the retailer’s top 100 list on pre-orders alone and is due to be released this week.

The meerkat is that rare beast that can sell a product without having to mention the product’s name, according to Dave Trott, creative director of the advertising agency CST. “You can have a cute character, like esure’s Mr Mouse, but the trick is that the character is associated with the product, which Mr Mouse wasn’t,” he says.

Source : The Independent