Go compare the price comparison sites’ marketing campaigns

November 2009

Usage of price comparison sites has risen by nearly two thirds this year – a figure that will surprise few given the nation’s new-found mindset of prudence. But perhaps it isn’t just about our changing priorities in life, but also that one or two of the emerging price comparison brands are doing rather a good job with their marketing campaigns?

I think that’s the case, and I might as well start with what is clearly the outstanding campaign: ‘Comparethemeerkat.com’. I mean it is brilliant, isn’t it? I actually envy the creative mind which thought of it (and my creative mind has certainly had its moments…). But it isn’t just the brilliance of the campaign which is so impressive, but the way consumers have been inspired to pick up on it and take the whole thing further. As an example, Aleksandr, the meerkat star, has attracted almost 500,000 fans to his Facebook page. Now that’s a marketers dream…

And what has this all meant for comparethemarket.com’s business? Well apparently quotes increased by 80% in the first 9 weeks of the campaign, with cost of acquisition reduced by 73%. Spontaneous awareness for the brand (an important measure given the market they’re in) almost tripled from 20 to 59 percent.

So hats off to the agency VCCP for coming up with the campaign and executing it so brilliantly.

GoCompare’s new campaign is in a respectable second place, with opera singer ‘Gio Compario’ blasting out a song which, if perhaps slightly annoyingly, can be a tad difficult to shift from your head in those quieter moments of the day. But a very catchy and memorable ditty is no bad thing for the marketer.

The next one down is moneysupermarket.com, and although the campaign is lacking in any real excitement or originality, the Dragon’s Den presenter Peter Jones certainly ads weight to the message. (And, as an aside, the moneysupermarket.com website is just excellent.)

At the bottom would have to be confused.com. Why? Well accepting that the target audience has no doubt been identified as those with more grey hair or less between the ears that the average consumer with a PC, the brand name, tone of voice and message is clearly patronising in the extreme.

Interestingly, I typed in ‘meerkat’ on Google and an ad popped up in the paid listing for confused.com with the words: ‘Confused about meerkats?’ No – I’m not in the slightest (like how could you be…). Confused.com? Only by their brand and marketing strategy…

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