Two college students in Texas pulled off an epic prank when they hung a professional-looking poster of themselves in their local McDonald’s in the name of lighthearted fun and cultural representation.
University of Houston student Jevh Maravilla, 21, and his friend Christian Toledo had been eating at their local McDonald’s in Pearland several times a week for about a month when they decided to "improve" a blank wall above their usual table.
"We’d been sitting at that table and always noticed this wall that had nothing on it," Maravilla told InsideEdition.com.
Taking stock of the posters showing people enjoying their own McDonald’s meals, Maravilla said he noticed none in the restaurant they frequented featured Asian people.
“I think Asian representation is important and in the media, it’s not equal [to] Caucasian [representation], for instance," said Maravilla, who is Filipino-American. “And there was this blank wall. It was like a calling.”
So Maravilla and Toledo came up with a plan.
“It was pretty simple,” Maravilla said, laughing.
The pair took photos of themselves walking and holding McDonald’s food — for Toledo, a burger; and Maravilla, an order of fries — in a location similar to the backdrops of the posters already hanging in the restaurant.
“All the other posters were in natural environments, like a city or at the beach, so we went to our local event center,” he explained. “There was a Zumba class going on and I’m sure they were wondering what we were doing."
Then they set out to perfect the photo, which needed a bit of doctoring.
“The fries [container] was advertising the FIFA World Cup at the time, so we wanted to take that out, and we added to the actual [number of] fries, because, well, we ate some of them,” he said.
Then they ordered a 60-inch-wide, 50-inch-tall poster of the image and planned the execution of their prank.
At a friend’s suggestion, Maravilla checked the local Goodwill for old McDonald’s uniforms and walked away with a $7 shirt to pose as an employee while they pulled off the stunt.
“It fit me perfectly,” he said.
Then on July 13, with the help of another friend, Maravilla and Toledo sneaked the poster into the McDonald’s and stuck it to the wall when real staffers weren’t looking.
Maravilla shared pictures of his and Toledo’s handiwork on Twitter Sunday, writing, “It’s now been 51 days since I hung it up.”
He shared a video showing the evolution of the prank on YouTube as well.
“It is still up,” Maravilla proudly told InsideEdition.com Tuesday.
Maravilla is hopeful about the fast food corporation’s response.
“We weren’t trying to make a bad rap with them, we weren’t trying to do any harm," Maravilla said.
A media production major, Maravilla said he hoped this would add to the conversation of Asian representation in the media and said he’d love it if the restaurant left the poster up.
"I just want to make a difference with the Asian community and Hollywood and I hope this will help jumpstart my career," he said. "That’s the main goal."
McDonald’s Franchisee Mariselle Quijano said in a statement to InsideEdition.com: “We take pride in highlighting diversity in every aspect of our restaurants. We applaud these students’ creativity and hope to see them in our restaurants again soon.”