Among the many dodgy, chemical-laden foods and drinks that British kids shoved down their necks in the 70s and 80s was a slime-green soft drink, made by the Coca-Cola Company, called Quatro.
It was launched in the early 1980s and the cyberpunk-style TV adverts were rather cool, clearly inspired by films such as Tron and Blade Runner and, perhaps, with a touch of the Max Headroom TV movie and subsequent US TV drama series thrown in.
Now, I remember quite liking the drink, which had a mixed-fruit flavour (four fruits, hence Quatro – though I’m sure if we could find an ingredients list, we’d see that the closest it came to actually containing any fruit was when the supermarket shelf-stacker carried it past the apples and oranges on the way out of the stockroom).
However, watching these two adverts, three things spring to mind.
First, why on earth was it bright green? None of the four constituent fruit flavours come from fruits that are green.
Which brings us to point two – what on earth WERE those four fruits? The first advert below includes four images – one is clearly a pineapple, another is an orange or tangerine. The big yellow one on the right is probably a grapefruit (though it might be a melon). But the the fourth fruit is a mystery. It’s purple and the relative size suggests that it must be a plum but surely that can’t be right – plum-juice flavour? Perhaps it’s meant to be a black grape?
The third odd thing about Quatro is that, contrary to what you might reasonably and logically expect to be the case, the four colours of the component fruits (whatever they may be) appear not to match the four colours in the Quatro logo. Fair enough, the orange in the logo matches, well, the orange flavour and the yellow colour could represent either the pineapple or the grapefruit. But where do the green and the red in the logo come from? It’s soft drinks gone mad, is what it is…
That all said, I did like it at the time and, truth be told, kinda wish it was still on sale. Enjoy the ads: