If only I owned a car, I could steer clear of crowded subway platforms and, more importantly, rationalize spending so much time watching videos at CompareTheMeerkat.com, part of a genius ad campaign by U.K. auto insurance company BGL Group. I’m not alone in my adoration: The ads have garnered tons of fans since debuting in January, and PETA U.K. has just awarded BGL and the ads’ creator, VCCP, the GOODY Award for Best Ad of 2009.
Rather than exploiting animals or risking harm to them, the hilarious ad campaign uses computer-generated imagery to portray Aleksandr Orlov, a debonair meerkat who has grown increasingly frustrated that people looking for BGL’s Web site, CompareTheMarket.com, keep landing on his site, CompareTheMeerkat.com, by mistake.
PETA U.K. applauds BGL’s ad campaign because it uses creative alternatives to live animals, who often suffer from confusion and fear and are put at risk of injury when they are exploited on film sets. Animals used by the entertainment industry are often subjected to rigorous and abusive handling and training methods—including electric shocks—to force them to perform tricks that are confusing and often frightening to them.
On the flip side (and coming soon): the naming of the recipient(s) of the BADDY Awards, which are given to companies that feature ads that disrespect or risk harm to animals. Which company would you nominate for a BADDY?