Inside the Take That reunion for Meerkat Music

Inside the Take That reunion for Meerkat Music

Take That are reuniting with some help from an animated meerkat.

Compare The Market has lined up an exclusive performance from the group with Robbie Williams. As revealed in the latest edition of Music Week, the launch of Meerkat Music is a multi-million pound brand partnership including TV advertising.

The remote performance will take place on the Compare The Meerkat YouTube channel and Facebook Live at 8pm BST on Friday, May 29. While Take That will be accessible to anyone, future performances will be available online just for Compare The Market customers as rewards.

Ahead of the performance for the Compare The Market platform, marketing director Liz Darran opens up about the launch and the ambitions for Meerkat Music…

How did you secure Take That for the launch of Meerkat Music?

“We've done a bit of work with Gary [Barlow] before, we were sponsoring Coronation Street and Gary did a performance on the Coronation Street cobbles with the Meerkat band and him playing piano. So we knew Gary, we knew his management, and this opportunity came up. We've been thinking about music for a while, it had been on our radar, we just hadn't found the right platform. The opportunity came up to do the reunion. It just felt like the right way to launch it.”

What have Take That got planned for the performance?

“It will be 45 minutes for the whole show, with a number of tracks and also some banter and chat in between. Our agency, VCCP, Take That and their management are working very closely, it is like a piece of branded content. Aleksandr, our Meerkat, he's hosting the show, he’s going to be centre stage and interacting with the band in between different tracks. So there's a lot of the brand in it.”

We are very much in that entertainment space, that's the area we want to develop and evolve

Liz Darran

Are the band are up for having some fun with the meerkat?

“Yeah, they are. Gary's got form in meeting Aleksandr. Aleksandr has held his own with the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Nicole Kidman before, so I think he's up to the task. I think there will be quite a lot of nice interactivity between them.”

What’s the thinking behind Meerkat Music? 

“We've been doing Meerkat Movies and Meerkat Meals for our customers. We are very much in that entertainment space, that's the area we want to develop and evolve. It's just the obvious next step, actually, getting into music. There are massive communities of interest around music, it was just finding the right platform. We've been looking at a few various things, but this felt right and particularly timely as well, given where we are with the current crisis.

“I've been watching the Crooner Sessions [livestream] with Gary [Barlow]. There have been some brilliant ones, a lot of artists have had to do that because they've had no other platform, effectively, so it's been brilliant to see the kind of explosion of creativity, and also just to see [artists] at home being a bit more natural.”

What are the long-term ambitions?

“We’re planning more gigs over the summer, we’re working on our shortlist for the next gig at the moment. We’re looking to see how we evolve it as part of our rewards offering for customers. There's massive potential in it, it's just understanding over the next few months how it plays out, and making sure that we are able to follow up with the kind of scale and ambition that we've started with.” 

To read the full story in Music Week, subscribers can click here. To subscribe and never miss an industry story, click here.

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