Woolworths in Australia is the place you go to get a bag of the people. Sorry, bag of potatoes. So not like Woolworths in other places where you buy gifts for people you don’t like. Got that? Good.
They have their own radio show that they play in the store. It’s not very different to the real radio format designed for people that used to be cool and go out but now have kids and a mortgage and are seething with resentment which they take out on other people in traffic jams. People aged in their late 30’s and early 40’s (unless you got her pregnant way way too early).
The big difference is there are no advertisements apart for Woolworths. Most of them are a blur of comical Australian voices saying something about meat. I’m not listening. Also the friendly voice that says very clearly that they are going to open your bags and look for stolen stuff. So clear and friendly that the last bit, we thank you for your cooperation is like little slivers of ice. Co Op Er A Sh On. I hate that word – it’s the sound of fluorescent lighting.
Also they have sound-alike music that is about Woolworths, who are the Fresh Food People. For months it was Chic who were banging out funky stuff about Fresh Food People. It was pimp. One day they played it on continuous loop. It was pimpimpimpimp. I came out of the store a 70’s screen black man. Hey toilet rolls wassup?
Recently they switched to ‘cute girl with a guitar’. I am really very impressed by this, because the musicians have done an excellent job of recreating that warm, heartfelt, impassioned feeling that a girl gets when she picks up a guitar and sings a little song she herself wrote about fresh food. Damn. I wanted to punch the singer in the eye in about 5 seconds flat. That good.
But there really is something authentic about it. One thing about musicians is they get very worked up about authenticity. Music needs to be authentic to get into the Rolling Stone Top 100 Albums Of All Time and this was doing just that. What was it? What were they doing? I stopped for a moment in the Health Food Section from where I scope out chocolate bars on the sly… but this time I was trying to figure out the subtle factor.
Then it hit me. She has a speech impediment. PERFECT. She sings like this: We yah We yah Da Fwesh Food Pweepwel. Which is exactly the way REAL manufactured pop girls with guitars sing. They all have the vocal equivalent of cross eyes.
While you could just say – it’s supposed to be cute – and you’d be right, I need to elaborate on this because I am a tedious Media Academic. I have a theory. Have you seen what happens when people talk to cats? Their voices go up an octave and they start babbling shit like Aw Wook At Da Widdle Pussy Kitty. This is authenticity. This is people revealing what they would be like if toilet training, school and a long stretch in prison hadn’t sorted out their kinks. Here is the basis of a whole renaissance in the media industry – write your music and films as if you are singing to a cat and your success will be the stuff of legends.