Recently, I was lucky enough to record Dustin Pedroia for our latest Salem Five Bank spots (You can watch them here and here). As a lifelong moderate Red Sox fan (I have the Johnny Damon and Papelbon t-shirts to prove it), married to a lifelong diehard Sox fan (he has the brick at Fenway to prove it), this was a huge opportunity. I owe tremendous thanks to our Salem Five Bank client, who had the vision and wherewithal to partner with Pedroia; and to our fearless leader, Steve Connelly, who had a smart idea about how to best use our limited time with Pedroia. The plan was to record audio with him for two hours and then have our brilliant in-house animator, Eric MC Funk, build animation around what we recorded.
#1. *He’s not the Laser Show.
Well, he is, but it’s kind of a dated nickname. Or, as Pedroia said to me, “that came out a lot of years ago, where have you been? Welcome to earth.” Which brings me to…
#2. Pedroia is funny!
We’d show you the transcript of the session, but we’d have to kill you. There were a lot of gems we wanted to use, but funny does not necessarily equal appropriate-for-a-bank-commercial. One that didn’t make it into a spot:
“If I had hair, could you imagine how many women my wife would have to beat off? Because she’s already beating off a lot of them – poor thing, she’s not very big…”
#3. His kids are funny, too.
Pedroia’s three-year old “mini me” is already notorious for stealing the whole bucket of bubble gum from the dugout. The whole team goes on gum watch as soon as the little guy shows up.
#4. Pedroia is an insomniac.
Stars, they’re just like US!
#5. He really, really loves baseball.
In our “Passion” spot, Pedroia talks about eating, drinking, and breathing baseball. And from talking with him, he really does. He talked about playing since he was four and how he still sometimes can’t believe it’s his job. Pedroia said if he did sleep, he’d probably dream about baseball too.
#6: He feeds on fan energy.
Pedroia’s not one to get psyched out by the opposing team’s fans (see #2), but he does get “all riled up to try to hit a homerun” by Sox fans. So keep up the good work, Nation.
#7. He actually has quite a bit in common with Salem Five
We worried we’d have to stretch things quite a bit to draw parallels between Pedroia and Salem Five (Does he love lollipops? They both have a 5?), but it ended up not being a problem. Many of Pedroia’s core values – hard work, passion, loyalty, independence – line up with those of Salem Five. Although Salem Five may be slightly more into banking than he is.
#8. Pedroia is surprisingly humble.
I know, you’re thinking, “Pedroia – humble? The guy ESPN called, ‘160 pounds of mouth’?”. But he talks about listening, to his coaches, his fans, his teammates, to “everyone” and about working on becoming a better player.
#9. He loves that beard. And let’s not get into the mustache.
The beard, in his own words, “really needs no other words to describe it other than awesome”. And as for the mustache? “What’s wrong with it?” he asked. We moved onto the next question.
#10. He’s the hardest working guy in baseball.
In our “110%” spot, we joke that Pedroia does everything 110%. But maybe 110% is an understatement.
“I’ve always swung the bat like that since I was a little kid. To me, it’s normal, to everyone else it looks out of control. A lot of other guys are bigger and they use leverage when they hit, I just try to let the ball come to me and put every pound I have into the baseball. I don’t weigh that much so that’s how I hit from my power – put 165 pounds into it.”