Earlier this month, Jevh Maravilla and Christian Toldeo became viral superstars because of a mock poster they created and hung on the wall of a McDonald’s restaurant in Pearland, Texas. It featured themselves in an apparent advertisement for the fast food chain.
The image was so convincing that it had reportedly gone unnoticed by the eatery’s employees for 51 days before Maravilla tweeted about it Sept. 2. As of Monday, it had been liked more than 1 million times.
Maravilla and Toldeo, who are students at the University of Houston and of Filipino descent, revealed exactly how they pulled off the prank in Tuesday’s chat with DeGeneres. Their cheeky antics, they said, were aimed at highlighting a lack of Asian representation in mainstream advertising, much as “Crazy Rich Asians” did for Hollywood films.
“So we wanted to be, like, crazy, middle-class Asians,” Toldeo quipped.
By the end of the interview, DeGeneres presented the guys with some colorful fan art of herself to sneak into their local McDonald’s.
She also revealed that the pair will be highlighted in a forthcoming McDonald’s ad campaign, and handed them each a check for $25,000 as “payment” for their commitment to diversity.