HOUSTON, Texas—Two Houston University students, JevhMaravilla, 21, and Christian Toledo, 25, were munching some snack wraps in a McDonald’s near their place when Maravilla noticed happy pictures of people of different ethnicities — except Asians — adorned the walls of the fastfood restaurant.
Maravilla looked up and saw a blank wall and told Toledo, “Hey, what if we put a picture of us there. There are literally no Asians in any of these walls. Maybe we can change that.”
Toledo was in. And that’s when the “fake poster prank” started.
The two friends took pictures of themselves as students holding some fries. They chose the best photo and sent it to an online poster-maker. After a few days, the poster arrived.
Now the fun part. Maravilla bought a $7-dollar red McDonald’s shirt from a Goodwill store to make it ‘legit’ when they’d bring the poster to hang at McDonald’s wall. He even had a badge made: JevhMaravilla, Regional Interior Coordinator.
On July 13, Maravilla, Toledo, and other friends took the poster to McDonald’s Business Center Drive. To not court attention, the friends made sure there were no more customers in the restaurant when they put up the poster.
The poster stayed up there until Maravilla tweeted on September 3 about it stil hanging after 51 days. McDonald’s had no idea until Maravilla’s tweet went viral with more than a million likes and hundreds of thousands of people talking about it.
This did not escape Ellen Degeneres because she herself loves to do pranks on people.
On September 17, Ellen invited the two friends to guest in her show and revealed a surprise poster of the two with Ellen on the center hanging outside of the studio building. Not only that. Ellen told them that because McDonald’s celebrates and commits to racial diversity, the restaurant is featuring them in its next marketing campaign. What!? Well, wait, there’s more: Maravilla and Toledo each received a US$25,000 check from McDonald’s.
The two friends freaked out they almost cried.—LEDRAC