Subscribe to industry newsletters



No to Mo the Meerkat

Can I really be the only one moved to homicidal dislike by Vodacom's creepy meerkat?
On their site, Vodacom describes their meerkat mascot as "sassy" with "slick moves and charismatic charm". Am I the only person who finds it to be a somewhat icky and freakish rat-like creature with little or no charm and a worryingly large head? Every time I see it I'm filled with annoyance and an urge to shave its scrawny torso, tie it to a concrete block and toss it into the nearest ocean. Am I really alone in this?? I know FCB has garnered all kinds of awards and praise for the campaign, which frankly baffles me. I also know that the mascot is a massive success with the youth market, and here perhaps is the answer. Perhaps I'm simply not meant to like it, as I'm an adult and it's definitely aimed at a very young market. Is this strategically wise then, as a brand-wide mascot which needs to appeal to all subscribers?
Publicity the key driver-
I've probably read about 100 articles with people sharing this exact same thought. Think about it though. This is all FREE publicity for the brand, plus the meerkat is not meant to target the older generation but the younger market. So I recon we just stop complaining about the bug or whatever it is and stop giving them the power in publicity!
Posted on 28 Nov 2006 10:52
Dead Eyes......aarrgggghh-
Hi So glad somebody could be bothered to comment on this. Mo is some of the worst animation I have seen in my life - the dead eyes and the jerky zombie dance moves wouldn't even make the "thriller" video they are so unrealistic. How these guys got awards for this is scary - wes craven scary! It is sad that the response to Mo is so positive and it may be indicative of increasing local media content and monopoly in the satellite industry. In short, we may turning into a nation of dorks! adios zuperkool
Posted on 28 Nov 2006 11:08
Giving Meerkats a bad name-
I fully agree with your negative perception of Mo. I found him bordering on vulgar in his first appearance and his 'slimy' image in subsequent ads does not appeal to me in the least. But as mentioned, perhaps we are simply the wrong demographic profile, and a bit of contraversy is always a good thing.
Posted on 28 Nov 2006 11:18
turned off-
I found this ad annoying from the very first time I was unfortunate enough to have had seen it. I actually switch channels when its on.....perhaps I may even be driven to changing my network because I find it so very irritating. Its like instant pms!
Posted on 28 Nov 2006 11:31
James Moffatt
I agree-
In fact, I think most of the Vodacom work could be vastly improved - big budget arrogance, silly Souf Efrikenisms. Can anyone tell me why it is best to take a DPS in the Sunday papers? It's too big and just wasteful cause the client's got the bucks, so why not just spend for the sake of it? A FP is more than adequate w.r.t. impact. If copy runs across my field of vision and falls into the big abyss of peripheral vision - the format is too large. A PET HATE!
Posted on 28 Nov 2006 11:38
No meer!-
Few things have disappointed me more in recent times than seeing there is now a girl meerkat. They could breed! Then what? We'd be overrun by creepy, goofy-toothed, un-cute rat-like things. I'm not in favour of culling, but...
Posted on 28 Nov 2006 12:01
Mo Rocks the TV Set!!!-
This mascott really livens up the homes of all the viewers. He is funny, smooth and somewhat cheeky in good sense. Mo entertains everyone and I really can not help laughing everytime I see him. Well done to FCB... You guys deserve every award you heve received for this campaign. You guys have even captured audiences here in Namibia, where Vodacom does not even operate. May there be many more of Mo on our TV sets! Oh, did I mention that I am 33?
Posted on 28 Nov 2006 12:39
Mo Rocks the TV Set!!!-
This mascot really livens up the homes of all the viewers. He is funny, smooth and somewhat cheeky in a good sense. Mo entertains everyone and I really can not help laughing everytime I see him. Well done to FCB... They deserve every award they have received for this campaign. These guys have even captured audiences here in Namibia, where Vodacom does not even operate. May there be many more of Mo on our TV sets! Oh, did I mention that I am 33?
Posted on 28 Nov 2006 12:40
I agree 100%. I find it particularly freaky that the creature flirts with girls and they seem very enamoured by it. Some things are still just plain wrong!
Posted on 28 Nov 2006 12:44
Mo Rocks-
I think that Mo rocks. FCB has really done well. After a long day of work one can really use a bit of humor and Mo does that well. He is a great entertainer and kids love him and I think he is cool.
Posted on 28 Nov 2006 14:08
No Mo the Copy-cat from Madagascar-
Looks like Mo was sampled from the animation film Madagascar. Even his song " I like the way you move" sounds too close to the said film's soundtrack "I like to move it". Inspiration is one thing; but duplication? What agency could be responsible for these moves?
Posted on 28 Nov 2006 14:39
Roger Orpen
Cant stand him. Leaves me cold and alienates the brand-
I cannot see the relevance of an animated character that has no human emotional attributes for me to relate to.
Posted on 28 Nov 2006 14:49
No Mo-
Maybe not yet the little meerkat feet, but he has a fan mob doing his "moves" already. You reminded me of the animated movie Madagascar. Check out my comments "No Mo the Copy-cat" on this forum.
Posted on 28 Nov 2006 14:54
Roger Orpen
As South Africans we do it extremely well
Posted on 28 Nov 2006 14:54
For all the Mo-haters out there-
I agree - Mo should be removed with extreme prejudice. Of course, someone has already thought of that - for the evidence
Posted on 28 Nov 2006 15:29
Mo, no need to appeal to YOU!!!-
The target market hear is tweens and teens you bunch of geeks. They love it and do think that Mo is sassy. Todays tweens and teens have more buying power than someone living of a minimum wage in this country. Can't you identify with your target markets likes and dislike, make me wonder if you belong in the industry.
Posted on 28 Nov 2006 15:33
Target Market-
Considering that 31 million South Africans have cell phones, and of this 12 million are between 5 - 24 years of age, maybe Vodacom is not targeting the right market. Personally I think the Meerkat sucks.
Posted on 28 Nov 2006 17:03
hahahaha, brilliant!!!
Posted on 29 Nov 2006 22:36
mo must go-
I hate mo, from his very first inception when he was modelled from an overweight, club-footed animator in an ill-fitting motion-capture suit till his latest incarnation. The animation was moved to a new studio recently which accounts for his excessively shiny nose and his "slightly better" dance moves. However he is just as smug and irritating- never in the history of south african advertising has such an annoying, charmless creature existed. I encourage everyone with the requisite animation skills to kill mo, for it is only in dying that he brings me pleasure!
Posted on 1 Dec 2006 11:00
SA loves second-rate everthing-
Question...Who is Mo aimed at? Likely the Tweens. But all I know is that there are enough adults out there aged 30-50 years old (some in my family) who love Mo! At the end of the day, people who know nothing about Branding, Advertising, Animation etc etc will always appreciate stuff like this, because they thinks it's AMAZING...and they are the target market at the end of the day! Another family love and appreciate Leon Schuster......I personally don't get it and find the humour childish and stupid. In case no one has noticed, in South Africa sh*t sells, plagerism probaly accounts for 80% of profits in the country, and mass produced goods will always be popular.......because well, South Aficans love mass produced, and love the fact that their neighbour, aunt, auntys daughter and their pet dog all wear the same oufits, have the same ringtones and same plastic wedge shoes. We need to wake up to the fact that this is our market, and as much as we would like to produce award winning campaigns and beautiful products, Saffas will just never get it!
Posted on 4 Dec 2006 11:05
Its a meerkat?!?-
Its terrible 3D, as an advertising campaign... i hate it, but it does seem to be working... I've heard people refer to it as a mouse... my guess is that alot of people just dont know what a meerkat looks like, so FCB gets away with it. Just look at the irritating crazy frog... does it look like a frog?!? ppl are ignorant.
Posted on 4 Dec 2006 12:30
Geen Meer-
Advertising Problem #97: His head is too big.
Posted on 4 Dec 2006 14:07
mo must go-
I dislike him enough to actually log on to forum to comment. If children like him is that their target market?
Posted on 4 Dec 2006 14:38
Money Saver-
Where is it? I don't want to hear or see that damn meerkat again. I want to see a noticeable saving on my invoice please!
Posted on 4 Dec 2006 17:42
Adi Jude
Yay for you! Signs of intelligent life IS out there!-
Mo SUCKS, the animation is cheap and cheezy and yes he is freaky and rat-like. What amazes me is that everyone i speak to hates him and yet he is a South African favourite amongst the masses. This scares me, it reminds me that mediocrity is king...
Posted on 5 Dec 2006 10:27
Simone Puterman
Loved it too!-
That ending, though...
Posted on 5 Dec 2006 10:48
I hate this little thing too... ~~~~ I found it quite disgusting to see a funny rat like thing jump out of a cell phone in someones living room and strip by ripping its skin off... really did people find it funny? ~~~~ I was quite shocked to see it returning last summer, and to see it voted as one of the most popular ads of the year... so obviously something went right despite all my expectations to the contrary. ~~~~ Also I am evidently not the target market, but there is obviously a large target audience lapping it up out there (which I think also extends beyond the teen / tween market into the proverbial "mass" market)!! ~~~~ So well done to Vodacom's agency, they have obviously done something right... remember who is spending the money out there. ~~~~ I reckon all you people should stop your whining. There are evidently a lot of people out there who love the campaign, and if the awards recognise it, then it must have been some sort of commercial success. ~~~~ I say get over yourselves! Just because it irritates you, doesnt mean that it was not a great success. I can think of many things that have reached the top of the ratings (especially songs that reach the top of the charts) that are widely popular, and widely derided, but hugely profitable none the less. ~~~~ Again bravo to the agency that created it!!
Posted on 7 Dec 2006 15:28
Megan Craig
Too bloody marvellous - all I can say is well done. And I agree with Taylor; let's see how many different ways we can make the kat no meer. Slloooowwly. After his very first performance, skinning comes to mind...
Posted on 7 Dec 2006 19:12
Feel threatened?????-
Are you soooooo insecure, that you feel threatened by a computer generated meerkat. Typical Blou Bul. Anything that resembles (even a hint of it) a Cheetah closely, make you shake in your boots....
Posted on 8 Dec 2006 11:24
Mo not so bad-
I only started seeing the rat like thing running down the street with a crowd of followers. He - it freaked me out then.Now that the 3d model has improved and he actually seems to be part of the scene, with (cool ???)moves and all, i have warmed up to him... the music helps too.
Posted on 12 Dec 2006 15:34
bad decision-
I heard from a designer in the industry that the initial design of the meerkat was actualy quite cool but then some head at vodacom or an art director decided that the designer does not know what good design is and actually went over the designers head and made them change the design. which leads to another issue which is - why do art directors and 'people in the know' not just leave designing to designers.
Posted on 12 Jan 2007 07:38