Interview with @Advil: The prankster, not the painkiller
A couple weeks a go, a young man with a pot-smoking Elmo Twitter avatar captured the imagination of the Internet when Netflix announced that it would mailing DVDs from the brand name Qwikster. While journalists and bloggers criticized Netflix for not doing its due diligence in selecting a brand name, Jason Castillo’s @Qwikster account gained thousands of new followers.
But Jason’s not the only twitterer with a brand-name account. There are dozens, maybe hundreds of others that got to the good names first, and today we meet the man behind one of those accounts. Abdul Dremali is @Advil.
Q. When did you join Twitter and why did you choose @Advil for your twitter name?
I joined Twitter in April of 2008 when it was still in beta, which is how I got to snag such an awesome name. The pseudonym Advil was actually given to me by friends back in middle school and it stuck. I had no intention of commandeering the name in any way, back in the early days of Twitter, there was no basis for marketing or advertising among big companies so the attention I got was entirely unforeseen.
Q. Is Advil your preferred pain killer? Would you ever consider endorsing Tylenol for pain relief?
Well I actually don’t feel pain because of the exorbitant amounts of PCP that I consume*. But if I did, I would most certainly use Advil! I would never endorse Tylenol because a Tylenol tablet killed my puppy last year. So… yeah I hate Tylenol… Murderers.
*I don’t actually do PCP, I’m just incapable of feeling physical pain because I’m such a badass.
Q. Has anyone from Pfizer offered to buy the name? Have any impostors offered?
Pfizer has never acknowledged my existence on the interwebs. They most certainly know I exist, but choose to look the other way as I systematically dismantle any bit of integrity they have in social media…. If they ever asked me to sell out and endorse their product, I’d definitely do it because I have no shame… and I’d be great at it!
I’ve had offers from lots of strangers on Twitter to buy the name, though. It’s good money, but in all honesty, no dollar amount can surpass the satisfaction of being the one trolling a major corporation and countless innocent Twitter users who have no idea who I actually am.
Q. How often to people tweet at you or mention you thinking you represent the real Advil? Do you ever pretend to be the real Advil when you get those tweets?
I get tweets every single day from people bitching about their hangover, or complaining that Advil isn’t working fast enough or something like that. I rarely ever get a tweet saying how I saved their day or did a wonderful job curing their menstrual cramps. For some reason I actually get offended at how pissy people get with Advil on twitter. Maybe they should all stop being such pansies and suck it up. There are people in Africa getting limbs chopped off and I don’t see THEM tweeting about how Advil isn’t working fast enough…
I never respond to the tweets or pretend that I do indeed speak for Advil because I figure thats a quick way to get a formal complaint from Pfizer and have my Twitter account revoked, and that would be shitty. I’d love to be able to tell most of these people to stop whining though.
Q. I see that @Tylenol follows you, but his account has been inactive for a year or so. Do you follow him back? Have you ever heard from him?
I’ve tweeted at him before but he never replied. He probably has no real friends or personal life. Or maybe he’s just depressed and drinking away his sorrows after murdering my adorable puppy.
Q. What do you do when you’re not tweeting?
I work as a fashion and fitness model down here in Dallas and I’m a full time student. I hate hipsters, I exfoliate once a week, I hate flossing, My favorite animal is the African Elephant. My favorite color is Orange. I’m an avid sports fan. I love the New England Patriots more than I love my own family. I’m a connoisseur of chocolate milk and a sculptor of fine sandwiches. I am a champion at Duck Duck Goose, I hate the Yankees and I masturbate a lot.
What other social media do you use?
I’ve been known to generate a few laughs on my Facebook account. Anyone can feel free to add me: www.facebook.com/GregWoodin
Yes, that’s not my name, once again… it’s my best friend’s name. Once Facebook allowed custom URL’s, he was really excited about it, so I got there first and stole his name because he has red hair and I hate him.
I’m usually one of the first onboard various social networks due to my geekiness and love for beta testing new software. I’ve been involved in testing for Windows, Apple iOS, iTunes, BrightKite, Google+, Spotify, and a few other projects.
Who is your favorite person on Twitter?
I like reading tweets by @FitzyGFY as he’s a fellow Boston sports fan and a writer/blogger for all things Boston Sports. Also my friend Whitney because she has huge boobs. She won’t let me see them so that sucks. I will someday though… in this life or the next.
You’ve described yourself as a “notorious Internet smart-ass” Besides calling yourself @Advil, what other jack-assery do you participate in?
Oh gosh, where do I start…. My internet trolling dates back to 5th grade when I used to get into self-help chatrooms on Yahoo and tell people that my parents were Vampires and that all this crazy cult-like shit went down at my house. The mass hysteria I caused in these chatrooms was absolutely priceless. People used to be so gullible back in the early days of the Internet.
I make a lot of videos of me harassing my younger siblings. One video in particular that catapulted me into internet popularity was one where I locked him outside during a Tornado warning when we lived in Iowa. His histrionic screams were pure gold. They’re on my Facebook under my videos if you go look.
Q. If @advil had been taken, what would your backup name have been?
I probably would have gone with @Tycho, I’m a huge nerd and I absolutely adore astronomy. Tycho Brahe is my favorite astronomer and I think I would have adopted his name as my own in the Twitterverse.