Take Telus, for example. If you watched TV in Canada in the last 3 months (or went to a movie), you definitely saw a series of their new, Wireless Meerkats spots. Here's one:
Nice track but the Meerkat's? A bit strange. That being said, it does make sense for a brand like Telus considering that they are all about using different creatures in their communications and need to find new ones to use in their spots every couple of months.
Now take a look at a new UK campaign for insurance - featuring talking Meerkats:
Some people think that talking animals are pretty funny (I'm mixed), but what this campaign does nicely is drive users to a customized (and fun) microsite about Meerkats and the product. They use a fun tactic (a weird looking, talking Meerkat) and tell users to check out their site: comparethemeerkat.com.
Animals have been used in advertising forever but the choice of a Meerkat across multiple brands with campaigns in-market at the same time? That's just weird.