Classic card of the week
Barry Bonds, 1993 Upper Deck
Always ahead of his time, Barry Bonds starred in his very own Charles Schwab commercial waaaaaaay back in 1993. The ad was very similar to one that you may see today, although back in the early 90’s, the concept of life-like animation – where the fine line between Tom & Jerry and Law & Order is straddled like a trapeze artist – was unfamiliar, and thus ill received. The original commercial takes place in Bonds’ backyard, where he is casually cooking up some turkey burgers, fully decked out in his Giants uniform. Says Barry, “Ya’ know, in the position that I’m in, I have the opportunity to talk to a lot of investors. I can talk for days about mutual funds, annuities, human growth hor-…funds, and all types of ill funds. But one thing I’ve noticed over the years is that, too many investors are in it for one thing – your money. (BEEP) that. So someone told me to talk to Chuck. I was like, ‘Who the hell is Chuck? Does he have the goods? Cause I’m like, 12 pounds of muscle short of hittin’ 50 this year.’ Then dude was like, ‘Nah, man – I’m talkin’ about Charles Schwab, that investment type cat.’ Well, it didn’t take me long to realize that when you talk to Charles Schwab, they have your best interests at heart. They got me puttin’ my money all over the place, trying to build interest and what not. I’m down with interest.” Camera pans down to the grill, where Bonds uses a syringe to inject barbeque sauce into his turkey burgers. Back up to Barry: “I knew I came to the right place when Chuck was like, ‘A lot of people like to invest their money in stocks, but you seem more like a bonds person to me.’ Heh. Bonds person. Ain’t that some sh-“ The end. The commercial was slated to air during an episode of Cheers, but a trial run in front of a selected audience proved to be devastating for the investment firm’s marketing campaign. People openly wondered whether they were watching a cartoon or real life, and questioned why Bonds was barbequing with his uniform on, without even an apron to protect him from splashing sauce. One anonymous audience member yelled, “I don’t need to be coerced into investment strategies by some millionaire, jackass athlete!” Another audience member called the ad “unrealistic,” and proceeded to fill out the “Extremely Dissatisfied” box of every aspect of the subsequent survey. The session ended in disaster, with people throwing tomatoes at the screen, and vowing never to talk to Chuck again. All that could be salvaged from the ill-fated ad was this head shot of Bonds in front of the blue screen, acquired by the Upper Deck Co. later that year, which could only waste the image on a pointless checklist card. The smile you see on Bonds’ face was a result of a blooper-type outtake, which occurred when one of the producers played a joke on Bonds by drawing genetalia on one of the cue cards.
Barry Bonds fun facts!
Favorite TV Show: American Idol
Favorite Grammar Bee: Spelling
Favorite Investment Firm: TD Ameritrade
Three people, past or present, you’d like to have dinner with: Me, myself, and I
Did you know?
Bonds’ Charles Schwab commercial was No. 108 on E!’s “101 Biggest Celebrities ‘Ooops!’”