The Economist this week made an interesting point about brands. The public downfall of Tiger Woods is attributed to wiping off $12 billion in value of his then sponsors, Gatorade and Nike. From someone who is not an expert in the world of marketing, this seems like a devastating consquence that was out of the hands of the brands. Since insurance isn’t a consumer brand, it’s hard to imagine such a negative impact of the brand association. When Swiftcover launched their Iggy Pop ad campaign, and the press released the fact that the insurer didn’t cover musicians, it was hardly a black day for the insurer.

So whilst there isn’t much negative impact on the brand, there are some examples of a posititve impact. In the United Kingdom, there is a delightful campaign around Aleksandr Orlav, the meerkat—a fictional meerkat character used by BISL Limited in its CompareTheMarket.com advertising campaign. CompareTheMarket.com has an advertising campaign based around a mock similar Web site. Originally the name was selected to highlight the “market” element of the Web site, since “compare” is a common term now in UK aggregator Web sites. The meerkat character has appeared in television, print, and online media adverts.

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