Two UK companies ran campaigns that were different and interesting in January. First up, was comparethemarket.com who ran an ad featuring a meerkat! The play being around www.comparethemarket.com and www.comparethemeerkat.com. A great example of a campaign that was guaranteed to get people talking and no doubt emailing links around (the ad is all over youtube). Not sure how much more insurance got sold though!
On the other hand confused.com is a well known insurance site well known for irritating tv ads. Then suddenly, they’ve started employing usability as a differentiator for their site (although they don’t refer to it as such). The ads basically plug how easy and uncomplicated the site is to use. Not having used it, I can’t comment on its effectiveness, but it is definitely an interesting development for the concept of usability.
Final twist: At the time of writing, if you do a search for meerkat on google.co.uk there is a ppc ad being served as shown below. Genius!