After debuting nearly two months ago, a new GEICO Insurance commercial featuring ’80s hair-metal band RATT performing their signature hit “Round and Round” has aired more than 10,000 times. What’s more, the humorous ad has helped propel the song onto the Billboard rock charts for the first time since its ’80s heyday.
In addition to its airings on television, the commercial has racked up nearly nine million views on YouTube since being posted on April 12th. The clip begins with a couple discussing how much they enjoy their new home, but then admitting they do have a “RATT problem.” At that point, it cuts to singer Stephen Pearcy and company performing “Round and Round” in the basement. From there the couple runs into RATT in the kitchen and the bathroom, as well.
On Facebook, RATT posted a screen grab of the latest Billboard Rock Digital Song Sales chart, where it sits at No. 18. Borrowing a line from the song, the band stated, “What comes around goes around. RATT is back for more on the Billboard Rock Digital Song Sales charts with ‘Round and Round’. The band’s first hit single from their debut record Out of the Cellar in 1984 re-enters the charts 2020.”
According to Variety, the commercial has benefitted from being one of the few humorous TV ads to debut during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We definitely talked about the timing on our side,” said Justin Harris, Vice President and Creative Director at The Martin Agency, GEICO’s longtime advertising partner. “At the end of the day, we realized people want to feel a sense of what’s normal again. It didn’t take us long to figure that out, and it was a great way to stay true to the brand.”
Pearcy told Variety that he’s a lot more recognizable these days because of the GEICO ad. “There’s a really cool grandma that lives next door to us and she goes for walks,” the singer said. “One day, I’m out there with a hat on and swim trunks — just beach wear, right? — and she goes, ‘Are you in a commercial?’ I said, ‘How would you know that?’ She goes, ‘Well, you have a lot of energy.’ And I’m thinking, ‘Alright, that’s what a national commercial means.'”
The rock frontman also added that the timing of the commercial was meant to be. “It’s ironic because in 1984, it was the Year of the Rat in the Chinese calendar, and it’s the Year of the Rat in 2020,” he explained. “What goes around comes around? No pun intended.”
RATT were set to headline the “Big Rock Tour” with Skid Row, Cinderella’s Tom Keifer, and Slaughter. The first leg, which would have kicked off yesterday (June 3rd), has been postponed due to the pandemic, while there’s been no announcement regarding the second leg, set to commence in late August.
If you’re not one of the millions of people who have seen GEICO’s “RATT Problem” commercial yet, watch it below, along with the band’s original 1984 music video.