In his regular life, Drew Smith is works marketing and communications director for Bridges, which is, no doubt, a big deal. But Drew's day job isn't what gets him recognized at Liberty Bowl tailgate parties. Meet Drew Smith, star of the University of Memphis' new football campaign, aka, the "Mind Your Business, Dennis!" guy.
First, are you a U of M football fan?
I am. And it's been hard over the years. It's been a long time since DeAngelo Williams graduated.
Tell me a little bit about the Tiger football campaign for this year.
It's focused on an office in Memphis and their random conversations about the Tigers football games. There are six different commercias, each premiering on the Sunday after the Tigers home game. The U of M worked with Sullivan Branding to get the concept, Running Pony did the production, Colors Agency did the casting, Jamie Mann and Jared Herring are my co-stars.
How did you land the Tigers commercial gig?
I got a call to audition and was lucky enough to be picked. Being a U of M grad was a huge bonus.
What other acting experience / commercial experience do you have?
I do a web series with about cool stuff to do in Tunica on tunicatravel.tv. Paula Deen signed my forehead. I also star in a movie called "Being Awesome" that's in post-production right now. And John Pickle, Alexis Grace and I star in Malco's new trailer to remind everyone to not be a jerk during the movie. So, I've got that going for me.
Are you happy with the way the spots came out?
I'm very happy with how they turned out. I give huge credit to the U of M for not taking themselves to seriously. For the past few years, they've had campaigns focused on toughness and "Arrrh, we're gonna beat you!" After the last few years, they've shifted the focus to what a good time the football games are.
Is it true that the first commercial's catchphrase, "Mind your business,Dennis!" was adlibbed?
The original script ended with the line "I'd hate to see where you put your basketball tickets." We'd done a few takes, and I asked Javier, the director, if I could try something different. In one of the other spots that we'd taped earlier, Jared's character's name Dennis is used. Jared got about half the line out before I cut him off with "Mind your business, Dennis!" Hilarity ensued.
Did they make you special temporary tattoos for the shoot? Do you still have any?
They did and I do. My son goes to Campus School, so he's been syphoning them off and looking totally awesome to his friends.
What's the reaction been like?
Awesome! I knew it was a big deal when one of my priests at Calvary Episcopal folded it into his sermon. My wife made fun of me the rest of the day.
Check out the behind the scenes video from the commercial shoots here.