Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Coles reverts to Status Quo

Francis Rossi what are you doing? For old rockers, who won't even admit these days to being fans of 'The Quo' as 70s rock band, Status Quo, was affectionately known, playing the Cole's 'big red hand' guitars is a perfect symbol of fading youth and, indeed, relevance.

It's a startling revelation and even reality check for all of that vintage to witness the absence of Rossi's former long mane. In lieu, we see some thinning strands, swept back almost as a reference to virility and cool. And the glasses! Like having grandpop doing karaoke to the once proud, yet simple chords (or is it just a chord?) of Down, Down.

Yes indeed, Coles is pushing prices down and it's appropriate that this response to Woolies' newest, fresh food brand campaign is belted out by Status Quo. For it's a return to type for Coles, with it's price-led advertising leading a race to the bottom.

But as they push prices down, so they deflate the morale of people who remember the golden years of Status Quo. (Oh dear! Just remembered I still have a Status Quo vinyl at home called 12 Gold Bars. Don't tell Coles, they'll use it as a promo line in the confectionary aisle.)

As you look at Rossi who, admittedly, is quite a bit older than me, instead of reflecting on Coles low prices, you have to ask yourself: "Have I deteriorated that much since I listened to The Quo?" It's enough to prompt hanging up the air guitar for good.

The sight of those old rockers opening their guitar cases only to feign surprise at the tightly strung 'red hands' inside is quite sad. And then to bastardise a song that no one possibly thought could be further degraded to create the 'Down, down prices are down' lyric is just too much to accept. The rock gods and immortal chords in reflecting their mortality are, in fact, a reflection of your own.

I've got to hand it to Rossi, the vocals appear to hold up for at least the duration of the advertisement. It's more than can be said for some of his contemporaries, who still occasionally warble to entranced, or more likely effused, crowds in Victorian vineyards on Sunday afternoon.

It's clearly a bit of a lark for The Quo. Reputations cannot be tarnished when most of the viewing audience is either too young to know who these guys are, or so engrossed in mobile devices during the ad breaks to not even notice.

But the point of the advertisement is well communicated - down, down, prices are down. Perhaps not down as much as Status Quo's appearance fees these days.

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