It’s almost enough to make you want to turn off the television and boycott Coles forever. The Status Quo reworking of the 1975 hit ‘Down Down’ has been flooding shopping aisles and ad breaks since August last year, and while it’s not the first time a popular song has been used in advertising, or been specifically tailored for a campaign, it may be the most annoying.
We can throw around the accusation of ‘corporate sellouts’ all day long but maybe the band just really want to share the fact that the prices are ‘Down Down’ at Coles. The campaign seems to be working too, because the partnership is going to continue. Status Quo have rehashed another of their songs for Coles, this time it’s ‘Whatever You Want’.
According to The Music Network‘s Industrial Strength column, the band will adapt the lyrics of their 1979 tune, from the top-selling album of the same name, to help promote the supermarket chain; much the way they did to their 1975 hit ‘Down Down’ (choice lyric: When you see that big red hand/ Start countin’ savings/ Count ‘em on your big red hand).
Honestly they don’t need to change the lyrics of ‘Whatever You Want’ all that much, the opening verse already fits Coles perfectly: “Whatever you want/Whatever you like/Whatever you say/You pay your money/You take your choice“.
But they could maybe do with omitting the “Take you home on the midnight train” and “squeeze me dry” parts, unless its a late-night trek for Coles-branded toothpaste perhaps.
The band have previously spoken out about their Coles partnership, with singer/guitarist Francis Rossi leading the defense, saying “there are no record shops anymore. You put your album in a supermarket and you know it’s in every Coles in the country. As much as people like to think it’s prostitution or denigrating music, the alternative is to disappear.”Status Quo have rehashed another of their songs for Coles, this time it’s ‘Whatever You Want’.
“Why are Sting, McCartney and the Stones still out there doing it?” questioned rhythm guitarist Rick Parfitt, adding: “It’s not necessarily because they love it. But everybody loves to earn money,” hitting the nail on the head; saying they aren’t Coldplay, and sticking around sometimes requires them to use slightly cash-hungry methods.
The Coles-ified version of ‘Down Down’ also landed an Adelaide radio station in hot water in January when South Australian broadcsater 5DN was found in breach of commercial radio advertising guidelines for airing the rehashed version of ‘Down Down’ because it was contexualised as music rather than advertising content.
Though several other radio stations in Adelaide were caught doing the same thing (what is up with Adelaide radio? Who is requesting this song?), 5DN were stung because the four minute long ad/song, played between The Bee Gees and Dionne Warick, was not prefaced as an advertisement.
The radio station argued that listeners are intelligent enough to know the difference, but it is a Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) required that advertising material is prefaced as such before it plays. The station said that a disclaimer was supposed to play before the Status Quo advert but a technical issue kept that from happening.
Another type of technical issue that has surrounded the band is the departure of drummer, Matt Letley, from the group. Letley, who had been the veteran rockers’ drummer for 12 years, announced late last year that he was leaving Status Quo, playing his final show in London at the O2 arena.
The band was entirely understanding of his decision with longtime band manager Simon Porter stating of Letley’s departure at the time: “We’re delighted that his last hurrah with the band will be at such a prestigious London show and we wish him all the best for the future.”
It’s easy to poke fun but Status Quo and their fans are still holding strong. They will be in Australia on a Coles branded tour towards the end of March, and the band is also set to appear at the highly anticipated Bluesfest in Byron Bay in April.
Status Quo 2013 Australian Tour Dates
Wednesday March 27 – Hordern Pavilion, Sydney
www.ticketek.com.au Box Office: 132 849
Thursday March 28 – Brisbane Convention Centre, Brisbane
www.ticketek.com.au Box Office: 132 849
Saturday March 30 and 31st – Deni Blues & Roots Festival 2013,
Conargo Road, Deniliquin
Tuesday 2nd April – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide
www.venuetix.com.au Box Office: 08 8225 8888
Wednesday 3rd April – Palais Theatre, Melbourne
www.ticketmaster.com.au Box Office: 136 100
Bluesfest 2013 Tickets & Dates
Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, Byron Bay
Thursday March 28th – Monday April 1st, 2013
ph: 02 6685 8310