Current job: Copywriter for Taco Bell TV with Deutsch LA
By Emily VanSchmus
Matt Meszaros came to Drake with big ideas about being a psychology major. Then he found a way to combine his interest in the workings of the mind with a love of burritos—advertising. He combines his quirky personality with his writing skills at his job at Deutsch LA, where he writes television commercials for Taco Bell.
Did you come to Drake knowing what you wanted to do?
Nope. I started off as a psychology major. I like figuring out how people think and what they want, asking why. But all the empirical research that goes with it made me sleepy, so I switched to advertising, which lets me take the how-people-think-and-what-they-want fun part and use it to sell them tacos.
What was the most beneficial thing you did with your time here at Drake?
I sat the bench for the soccer team all four years, which taught me I’m not super important in the grand scheme of things, how to work hard, and the proper etiquette for showering with other men.
What advice do you have for current students in terms of what to do at Drake in order to set yourself up for success after graduation?
Consume all the Louis CK you can. His show, his standup, interviews with him—he is a genius and if you study what he says and the craft with which he does it, you’ll hopefully get better at life and maybe your job. After that, go to all your classes. Adults you can’t count on suck. Dragging your ass to class is a good way to train yourself not to be a sucky adult someday.
What does your current job entail and what do you like most about it?
I write Taco Bell TV commercials. Not all of them, only the hilarious ones. Favorite part? I can wear shorts to work. And we get to try all the top-secret Taco Bell foods before they come out. Those are pretty vapid though, so I’ll say this about writing for a living—and it took me years after Drake to realize it—making silly commercials is fun, but lots of people can make pointless jokes. The core of any actually good commercial, poem, article, movie, song, anything, is that it talks about life. That’s what people care about. Make someone feel something. Go listen to Johnny Cash’s A Boy Named Sue. If I ever write something close to that powerful, graceful, and smirk-worthy, I’ll be a happy boy. A Boy Named Sue is also a great karaoke song.
How does this job relate to experiences you had at Drake?
Two experiences stick out: One, I had a great adjunct professor, Chad Baker. He laughed at an ad I wrote. I liked that feeling, and wanted to feel it again, so I’ve kept writing. The other was learning how to compete. Competition is great. But if you can challenge, argue, fight with someone…. then when you’re done and pissed at each other, go have a beer with them. People will love competing against you, and that will only make you better.
You mention in several places online that you like to eat and write about burritos. What is the story on that?
I do love burritos. No matter what happens in life, a fresh barbacoa burrito is always there for me. It’s like a puppy, but I can go on vacation without needing to pay for a sitter.