Making a city self-promo is hard enough without having to compete against a crack-smoking homicidal mayor who has become a big-bellied joke of a scandal around the world. Toronto-based john st.’s “More Than Ford” compilation video of all things pleasant in its hometown attempts to do just that for a Canadian city that has been the unfortunate butt of the news for too long. The project comes from a good place, but the execution is typical, and as a result, uninteresting.
I think there’s a way to do this, to help Toronto separate itself from Rob Ford, but doing so would require a more self-aware, confrontational approach. john st. repeatedly puts out quality work, but this spot feels much too clean for the circumstances. Every city has people doing cool gymnastics in parks and drinking coffee. What makes this interesting and specific to Toronto? Where is the voice? It’s out there, but it doesn’t sound like a benign, glossy magazine cover.
Credits and a brief disclaimer after the drug-free jump.