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What Is The Song In The Allstate Moon Commercial?

Things really did used to be simpler. Up until the late 20th century, it was generally accepted that talking animals have very little to do with insurance. Then Geico fired the first shot with their anthropomorphic lizard, Aflac let off a return volley of Gilbert Gottfried-voiced ducks, and an advertising arms race was underway — one which would continue on for decades, with millions of dollars in special effects spent on ad campaigns that citizens would eventually lose the energy to question.

To that point: Allstate's newest ad spot, which is very nearly tangentially related to car insurance. You may have seen it — the 30-second commercial sees a pair of sanguine astronauts driving a lunar rover across the surface of what sure looks like the moon. As they jump the buggy off of a cliff, unencumbered by the gravity one might expect to encounter on bleary old Earth, a small but vital disclaimer at the bottom of the screen reminds viewers: "Do Not Attempt." As a result, nobody drives any NASA equipment over the edge of a crater, and American space supremacy is stronger for it.

Meanwhile, a calming ditty plays in the background, painting the scene with a layer of positive, silky smooth grooves. As is so often the case, you can thank Smokey Robinson for the experience.

Allstate gets the moon all Smokey

Even if you don't know Smokey Robinson by name, you almost definitely know his work. The 1960s were sort of his golden era as a songwriter — during that period of time, he wrote or co-wrote some of the most enduring hit songs of his generation, including "My Girl," "I Second That Emotion," and "Ain't That Peculiar." And then there was "Cruisin'," the song featured in the Allstate commercial. "Cruisin'" was released in 1979 on the solo album Where There's Smoke..., and offered Robinson a return to the spotlight following a few relatively quiet years. With a backing track by Marv Tauplin and Smokey's lyrics and vocals, it peaked at number four on the Billboard Top 100 before going on to be included in the Grand Theft Auto V soundtrack and, no kidding, experience a re-release as a duet sung by Gwyneth Paltrow and Huey Lewis. Yes, seriously.

Robinson, in an interview shared by SoulTracks, has stated that "Cruisin'" was a challenging and time-consuming song to write. "When [Marv Tarplin] gave me this particular tape of music, I loved it... I played it forever -– in my car, when I got home, over and over. I wrote two or three other songs to that music but they didn't work. Nothing fit this music. This song came in bits and pieces. 'Cruisin” took five years to write." With that much work having gone into it, he must be grateful to see that his music is now in good hands.