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Aleksandr Orlov
Compare The Meerkat character
Aleksandr Orlov
First appearance January 2009
Created by VCCP Agency
Species Meerkat
Gender Male
Occupation AristoKat/Website Owner/Actor
Nationality Russian

Aleksandr Orlov is a fictional CGI anthropomorphic Russian meerkat. The character is central to an advertising campaign on British commercial television for the Compare the Market price comparison website.



Aleksandr is an aristocratic meerkat, and the founder of The character, known for his catchphrase "Simples" (pronounced "seem-ples"), is voiced by Simon Greenall.[1]

The TV campaign, featuring Aleksandr, was created by the VCCP Agency on behalf of BGL Group. It launched in January 2009 and centres on his frustration that people keep coming to his website looking for car insurance not meerkats, due to the fact that 'Market' sounds similar to 'Meerkat'. The website – which is a real website created by the advertising agency – does indeed allow visitors to compare meerkats, and has had more than 3.6 million hits.

BGL's website is now ranked as the 4th most visited insurance website in the UK – up from 16th in January 2008; and overall sales have more than doubled year on year as a result of the TV ‘meerkat campaign’.[2][3] Aleksandr has more than 700,000 Facebook fans and 32,000 followers on Twitter, while on photo-sharing site Flickr there is a popular gallery of Aleksandr's family.[4]

The character remains extremely popular and a record company has expressed an interest in releasing a single featuring Aleksandr.[5]

In August 2009 an opinion piece in The Guardian newspaper accused the advert series of racism for mocking eastern European accents, however following a complaint by the author of the article to the Advertising Standards Authority, the ASA stated it had not received any similar complaints.[6]

Television ads

  • Introducing Aleksandr (January 2009) - The first TV ad
  • "Jingles" (February 2009) - Aleksandr shows the differences in the Compare the Market and Meerkat jingles
  • "Sergei" (April 2009) - A new computer server managed by Sergei from IT
  • "Puppets" (July 2009) - Aleksandr's puppet theatre
  • "Jacuzzi" (October 2009) - A relaxing jacuzzi after another day of meerkat and car insurance confusion
  • "The Journey of Courageousness" (January 2010) - Aleksandr tells the story of his ancestor's journey to Russia from the Kalahari, from where he and some other meerkats fled by sea from a grub famine. In the Kalahari he is depicted as wearing an Arab robe.


Recently another character, Sergei, appeared in his own ad. He is Aleksandr's IT technician and tea-maker. Before working for Aleksandr, he used to be head of the principal design group for the Soviet Space Programme during the 1980s. He designed the Mir(kat) Space Station, and now works with Aleksandr and 'Compare the Meerkat'. Sergei is first seen in the ad "Sergei", and later guests in "Jacuzzi" and "The Journey of Courageousness". Sergei had been frequently mentioned on Aleksandr's Twitter prior to being in included in an advert.


Aleksandr's fictional family is described as having lived in Moscow for many generations. His "greatest grandfather", Mikhail, fought in the Meerkat–Mongoose war of 1728, and his grandparents survived the "Furry Terror" of 1921.Aleksandr's father (papa Anton) participates in boxing.[7]

Some advertisements show him or an ancestor living in the Kalahari, dressed in Arab robes, until a drought causes a famine and forces him to leave; he is shown walking across a sand dune desert (perhaps the Namib Desert) to a coast, where he makes or finds a boat, and sails away in it, and ends up on a cold coast of Russia.


External links



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