A quick Google of the names “Ford” and “Toronto” spits out over 300,000,000 depressing results, covering everything as you might well guess from subways to KFC to cocaine of the smokeable variety. While this ubiquitous association has many concerned for the global rep of this once fine and politically civilized city, it’s comforting to recall that Toronto has already survived one sustained saturation of the Ford brand. Although to be fair it was a little less sensational, it happened in the 1980s, and it was different kind of Ford…
Running from 1983 until late 1987, Ford’s “Toronto…Driving is Believing” TV spot were innocent civic odes to Ford lovin’ Hogtown denizens. Backed by obvious landmarks, blink-and-you’ll-miss-them cameos from colourful local characters as diverse as J.D Roberts, Ed Mirvish, Don Cherry, Harold Ballard, Elwy Yost, Paul Godfrey, Al Waxman, Jesse Barfield, Brian Linehan, and many more, they all closed out with a “man on the street” testimonial spotlighting Torontonians espousing how they had become believers.
“Toronto, Toronto, we can’t be outdone, at Ford quality is job one!”
The Star had no issue with Ford in ’80s
By the late eighties, people had grown tired of the Toronto Ford meme, and more generic, less jingely TV spots were introduced, standard operating procedure for Ford right up until this day. With the all-consuming and probably lasting hoo ha involving their mayoral namesake, it’s doubtful Ford would want to engage Toronto in a campaign quite so literal ever again, or at least anytime soon.
Retrontario plumbs the seedy depths of Toronto flea markets, flooded basements, thrift shops and garage sales, mining old VHS and Betamax tapes that less than often contain incredible moments of history that were accidentally recorded but somehow survived the ravages of time. You can find more amazing discoveries at www.retrontario.com