With the ever so slightly tropical taste

No 136: LILT
Click to follow
Don't those boys in Jamaica lead the life of Riley? They just run round all day doing fun things for tourists, wearing nicely faded shorts and shirts in real art-director's colours and smart Ladbroke Grove dreadlocks. They mess around in boats, and eat exotic fruit which falls from trees. And they listen to music. (Usually, in the parallel universe of TV commercials, this music isn't the very latest Jamaican product - any more than we visit the real slums of funky Kingston - but rather something which sounds like The Golden Age of Marley and Tosh sharpened up in a Soho studio.) They do other things besides, but that's only implied in these ads.

Time was when we laughed ourselves sick at "Lilt, with the totally tropical taste" which was the Bounty Bar, Holiday Inn 1965 view of the islands, with its limbo dancers and near-calypso music. But now it's been updated, recognising that people know a bit more about Jamaica and its music.

Updated means quick cutting, angled shots and new ways of letting the sunshine into everything. And little art-directed touches - those lovely sun-faded paint colours. The Lilt narrative is something picaresque about a bunch of lads running Sam and Ray's Boat Hire (lovely hand-painted signs) but managing to sink their boat. They troop ashore - no drownings in Lilt country - and get some of the carbonated lemony/limey stuff from one of those primeval chest freezers, parked outside. More fruit shots, more sun and a massed enterprise to paint those home-made signs "Sam and Ray's Diving School" and "Visit a genuine shipwreck" all rendered in Rasta colours, outside a shack the staff of Interiors magazine would kill for.

And the thing about this updated, slightly rootsy Lilt Jamaican thing is that it looks and sounds very much like the current Red Stripe ad which presents so precisely the same art-directed Ladbroke Grove view of the island you wonder whether the same production company didn't knock them both off on one trip.

Comments