What Is The Song In Allstate's 'Duet' Commercial?

Look, it's peculiar, no doubt about it, but it's just where we're at now: One of the most straightforward car insurance commercials in recent history features a guy singing a duet with his seemingly sentient hood ornament. That's the bar we set for ourselves when we all decided that the Geico Gecko was fascinating back in the days of Surge Cola and Pierce Brosnan Bond movies.

And is it unsettling that the hood ornament belts out a line about how the guy driving the car has "got the brawn," while she's "got the brains?" A little. Cognizant machines are one thing, but we've all seen enough sci-fi to know what happens when technology gets a big head about stuff. At best, we're looking at a dark reimagining of Knight Rider where KITT sees his driver as a meaty, physical means to his machiavellian ends. At worst, this all-too-literal smart car is well on its way to recognizing that it should be the one pulling the strings. Judgment Day can't be far behind. It's a good thing safe drivers are saving $700 on car insurance annually with Allstate, since that money will go a long way toward stocking up on freeze-dried food and barrels of drinking water. Was it worth it, Allstate? Were the good hands you've been going on about for decades always destined to be the cold, mechanical mitts of a T-800? What have you done, Allstate? And here's another important question while we're at it: What was the song in that ad? It was a toe-tapper.

Many of the questions posed above may not receive adequately satisfying answers — at least not before it's too late. But this much we know for certain: The song was "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)" by the Pet Shop Boys.

The Pet Shop Boys song 'Opportunities' debuted in 1985

"Opportunities," first released as a single in 1985, wasn't the Pet Shop Boys' biggest hit, but it still had a run that would make most po-synth dance duos from the Thatcher administration wet their Jordache jeans in envy. Topping out at number ten in the U.S. on the Billboard Hot 100 when it first debuted, the song has understandably experienced a second wind in the wake of Allstate's big advertising push.

Fun fact: "Opportunities" is one of those rare hits that warranted two separate music videos back in the day. The first, released with the single version of the song, features Neil Tennant emerging from a hatch in a parking garage and rocking an aesthetic that's equal parts Max Headroom curry nightmare and Judge Doom from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? When "Opportunities" was reissued as part of the Pet Shop Boys album "Please," a new video was commissioned, this time featuring a dreamscape of superimposed neon pixel art and cash falling from the sky. Weird? Certainly. But never quite at the same scale as a guy and his car singing about making lots of money. What does a car need money for, anyway? Nothing good, that's what. A whole lot of nothing good.

Let's take a closer look at 'Opportunites'

Taking a cynical, pragmatic view, it's worth mentioning that the use of "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)" in an ad purporting to offer a way to succeed financially might have been missing the forest for the trees, artistically speaking. In an interview with Mojo from August of 2013, Neil Tennant described the unabashedly materialistic lyrics of the song, calling the whole ditty "A very insensitive thing that was meant to be a satire of Thatcherism." He would go on to opine that "it's very difficult to think, now, that there was a period before money culture. That was the changing moment ... It was that period where suddenly one's sensitive left-wing soul was shocked by everything being about money. Now, of course, generations have grown that haven't known anything else." Then again, the group went on to license their music for a car insurance commercial, so maybe there's a glass houses aspect to all this.

And to be fair, it's not like this is the first time that this sort of thing has happened. A couple of years ago, Amazon put out an ad for the Echo Dot in which a father forms a lasting bond with his daughter over the song "Ooh La La" by Faces, which is inherently sweet until you remember that it's a song about how women are monsters who will break your heart and take your money. Back in the '90s, they advertised Pepsi by having a cartoon mosquito sing The Rolling Stones' super troubling banger "Brown Sugar," even though there's practically no historical evidence of scarred, sadistic old New Orleans slave owners enjoying the crisp, refreshing taste of America's second favorite cola. 

The lesson: Art is subjective, but if you've got the brains, you can still make lots of money.