TikToker Kyle Scheele (@KyleScheele) took a risk that ended up being a huge return on investment—by leaving a cardboard cutout of himself at a Kum & Go gas station.
The cutout showed a picture of Scheele himself, with a pizza guitar, advertising a fictional “Scheele Meal,” in 30 inches of text, according to Scheele. As a result of his stunt, Kum & Go has partnered with Red Bull to bring the Scheele Meal to life—a $5 Red Bull and pizza sandwich. Additionally, $2 from every meal, up to $10,000, will reportedly be donated to No Kid Hungry by Kum & Go. According to the Springfield Insider, that donation will be matched by Red Bull.
Scheele posted his first video of his cutout Nov. 16, showing the process of making the large sign and leaving it in a Kum & Go near his home in Springfield, Illinois. Inspired by a cardboard cutout of rapper Post Malone in a different gas station, he asked his friends, a photographer and another person who has access to a large-scale commercial printer, to get in on the plot.
“The other day, I was in a convenience store, and they had a cardboard cutout of Post Malone, and I asked the guy working, ‘hey, can I have that when you guys are done with it,’ and he was like, ‘man I don’t even know where that stuff comes from, it just shows up,'” Scheele said. “‘It just shows up when the vendors bring it.”
The store employee told him that he didn’t know when the cutouts were coming and going, as it was something handled by corporate, which inspired Scheele to devise his plan. The initial prank video has garnered over 21 million views.
The cutout, Scheele said in a follow-up video, inspired attention from nearby fans of the motivational speaker and author, and he received selfies of fans with it. He also received videos of people asking for the Scheele Meal, and store employees had no clue what it was.
“One guy sent me a message saying there is a line of people here waiting to take selfies with your sign,” he said.
Kum & Go then teased the creation of a Scheele Meal—officially, the Scheele Meale, styled with an additional “e”—on its TikTok account.
Scheele said in follow-up videos that viewers had tagged Kum & Go in the comment section, bringing it to the attention of the company.
Then, on Friday, Nov. 19, the convenience store and gas station chain announced the deal was live—the Scheele Meale would now be available.
“Okay I’m going to skip the labor and get right to the baby here; we did it,” Scheele said in a TikTok posted Friday. “A few days ago I put up a cardboard cutout of myself inside this Kum & Go just to see how long it would take them to realize it wasn’t supposed to be there. Thanks to TikTok, it didn’t take too long, but also thanks to Tiktok they decided to leave it up because it was getting so much foot traffic from people coming in just to take pictures of the sign.”
With this added foot traffic, Kum & Go ran with the momentum Scheele had garnered online.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Scheele and Kum & Go via email regarding the videos and the creation of the Scheele meal.
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