Toronto Comedian Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll Expertly Parodies Those Insulting Metrolinx Ads

The company has set the original ads to private

BY Alex HudsonPublished Feb 5, 2024

Greater Toronto transportation authority Metrolinx recently launched a bizarrely condescending, borderline hostile ad campaign mocking those who complain about the company’s endless construction (and the fact that the still-not-open Eglinton line has been under construction for 13 years). Now, those terrible ads have been expertly parodied by Toronto comedian/actor Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll, and Metrolinx has pulled the campaign down from YouTube.

Fernandez-Stoll’s parody ads, which he wrote and directed, mimic the Metrolinx campaign by depicting someone being told off for complaining about construction. In the parodies, which were released last Wednesday (January 31), the discussion gets uncomfortably personal: a character played by Fernandez-Stoll is mocked for his failed screenplays and feeding his ex-girlfriend’s dog, while a separate conversation turns violent.

What’s truly remarkable about the parodies is that they are barely more outrageous than the original ads. Fernandez-Stoll told Exclaim! that he conceived of the parody after seeing the Metrolinx ads in a movie theatre about a month ago.

"There's a group of people that have seen the real ads and think ours are funny parodies, then there's a group of people that think ours are real ads because they haven't seen the real ones," he told Exclaim! "They're furious and keep commenting things like, 'Is this real?' or, 'How could Metrolinx approve swearing in an ad?' Which, yeah, that's the point! How could anyone make these tone-deaf ads? I guess if they get people talking, that's the best."

The ads went viral on Twitter, and Metrolinx has set the original versions on YouTube to private. The company hasn't publicly commented on the ill-conceived campaign or the resulting fallout.

"The idea that Metrolinx saw ours and thought, 'Oh shit... Delete! Delete! Set it to private! Now!' is hilarious," Fernandez-Stoll said. "I make dumb sketches with my friends and we just want to make people laugh. Never thought we'd be considered absolute juggernauts in the Toronto transit ad world. Hopefully we get season tickets to the Argos."

Watch Fernandez-Stoll's parody ads below. The first two slides are the parodies, while the third slide is one of Metrolinx’s original ads.

Fernandez-Stoll is joined in the ads by actors Tom Henry, Cotey Pope and Saba Akhtar. The director of photography is Edward Pond, and the sound engineer is Gavin Whelehan.

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