Creative Director’s Choice: Preacher’s Rob Baird talks about the power of W+K’s ‘Typecast’ for the Atlantic

Rob Baird, Partner and CCO at Preacher

Creative Director’s Choice gives creative directors a chance to highlight the current work they think is the best out in the ad world – the ads and campaigns they think are making a difference. Each week The Drum is featuring the words of a creative director or other top creative on the work they find funny, powerful or otherwise engaging.

This week, Rob Baird, partner and chief creative officer at Preacher, shows his respect for Wieden + Kennedy New York's 'Am I Typecast?' short film for the Atlantic. See all the creative by clicking the creative works box below the commentary.

My pick would absolutely be, hands down and hands up, Wieden + Kennedy's ‘Typecast’ featuring Michael K. Williams for the Atlantic. The moving short film ultimately lands the tagline ‘Question Your Answers,’ which feels like it could live poignantly for a very long time – especially in these times. But how it gets to dropping that line is so engaging, powerful, and fresh.

I feel like Wieden always has this enviable deft touch with film, where every single choice and thoughtful detail takes it up another notch until you forget you're even watching a commercial. You’re so sucked into the moment, and then at the end left thinking and truly feeling something in your gut.

Certainly watching a black actor question his path in Hollywood, the issues of race and typecasting, and self-determination for success – before ending on a poetic shot of an Atlantic cover with Obama and the article heading ‘My President Was Black’ – hits you deep.

It all plays out like a brilliantly written one-man stage play meets a would-be legendary scene from a movie. The four individual performances are so nuanced, the camera work and edit add so much to how you follow the characters’ debate, and the subtle touches of the cat (and discussion about the cat’s place in the world) and the contemplative smoothie sip of Williams at the very end are all so perfect. I honestly feel like I’ve been re-watching and referencing this work over and over again, probably to our creative department’s chagrin.

Rob Baird is partner and chief creative officer at Austin, Texas independent agency Preacher.

To see the latest creative ads and campaigns, please visit The Drum’s Creative Works section. If you or your creative director would like to be featured in our Creative Director’s Choice, please contact Kyle O’Brien at

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