’80s rockers Europe and Billy Idol shill for Geico and Bank of America

By Steve Newton

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Da-da-da-daaa. Da-da-da-da-daaaa. The opening notes of Europe’s huge 1986 hit “The Final Countdown” are ingrained in a lot of people’s minds–I usually think of how Gob used it in his failed magic act for Arrested Development–and now Geico has copped it for its “It’s What You Do” advertising campaign.

In the 30-second tv commercial it shows Europe performing the famous part of the tune in a work break-room while the seconds count down on somebody’s microwaved burrito. I wonder if Geico realized that, at the 10-second mark, you can see the sparks from the band’s pyrotechnics actually shooting up high enough to hit the break-room’s ceiling. Not to rain on the insurance giant’s parade, but that’s exactly how the horrific fire started at that tragic Great White concert back in 2003, I noticed.

Also raking in some corporate advertising dollars of late is Billy Idol, who can be seen in a new Bank of America commercial recording the “more, more, more” part from his 1983 hit “Rebel Yell” in a jingle to promote their preferred rewards program.

That made me think of that time back in ’84 when I asked for Billy Idol’s autograph backstage and he replied, in true punk-rock fashion, “I don’t sign autographs! I’m no fucking star!”

What a difference 30 years makes!

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