Vintage Toronto Ads: Friends in the City
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Vintage Toronto Ads: Friends in the City

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Wouldn’t your friends appreciate it more if you were present for dinner? Unless you are rewarding them, do you trust your friends and clients enough not to blow your credit limit in a swanky establishment such as this restaurant?
Toronto was one of several Canadian cities featured in this late 1970s American Express campaign. All of the ads feature models who look too eager to serve cardmembers (check out Vancouver’s entry). It’s hard to tell whether the wide-eyed chef is as hammy as the pork products he uses, delighted the waitress is leaning on him and not the wine steward, or if the pressures of the kitchen have reached the point where he is plotting the demise of his fellow staffers.
Several classic 1970s restaurant decor elements are on display. The Tiffany lamp by the bar. Amber glassware. Furniture and panelling in hues of brown and orange. There are still a few venues around town where these elements remain in a non-ironic manner, which can be quite comforting.
We are curious if this actually was shot in Toronto or is merely a set in a New York photo studio.
Source: Saturday Night, April 1978

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