Fil-Am students go viral after sneaking fake poster at a McDonald’s
LOS ANGELES — A poster featuring two Filipino Americans enjoying a McDonald’s meal has gone viral for a reason that has many internet users laughing.
Hanging on the wall of a local McDonald’s in Pearland, Texas, the poster — as legitimate as it looks — was not provided by the billion-dollar fast food chain, but by 21-year-old Fil-Am Jevh Maravilla who decided to pull off a genius prank of creating his own poster and hanging it up on the eatery’s wall.
“I noticed there was a blank wall at McDonald’s so I decided to make this fake poster of me and my friend,” wrote Maravilla in a viral tweet that has been retweeted over 250,000 times and liked over one million times as of Friday, September 7.
“It’s now been 51 days since I hung it up,” revealed Maravilla in his Monday, September 3 tweet.
The University of Houston student said that the need for diversity and representation of Asians in the media was the main inspiration for his stunt.
“If you haven’t noticed, there isn’t a lot of Asians represented in media,” Maravilla said in a YouTube video titled, “How to Become McDonalds Poster Models.”
“And hopefully one day I could see someone like me on the big screen,” he added, alongside another Photoshopped picture of himself on the movie poster of the latest blockbuster hit “Crazy Rich Asians.”
The idea came in mid-July when Maravilla and his also Fil-Am friend Christian Toledo were eating snack wraps at a McDonalds in Pearland, Texas. Upon noticing the lack of Asians in the restaurant’s posters, the two thought it would be a great opportunity to add some new wall art.
In his YouTube video, Maravilla explained the process of taking the photo in front of their local neighborhood event center, editing the photo and having it printed at Office Depot, coincidentally finding a McDonald’s polo shirt at a thrift store for $7, pairing the shirt with a tie and badge with a title of “Regional Interior Coordinator,” and finally hanging the photo up.
The video has garnered over 900,000 views on YouTube as of Friday, September 7.
To BuzzFeed, Maravilla said, “I feel so thankful. I didn’t know how much of a difference I can make in people’s eyes. Even one tweet can change the world.”
He added that while his parents weren’t too pleased about it at first, they finally came around.
“After the whole mission was completed, they couldn’t help but laugh. They even took a picture with my poster without me knowing they went,” said Maravilla.
And as the big question of how long until the photo comes down remains, it seems like the poster may not be coming off anytime soon.
“We take pride in highlighting diversity in every aspect of our restaurants,” the local McDonald’s owner Mariselle Quijano told CNN. “We applaud these students’ creativity and hope to see them in our restaurants again soon.”