In 2014, veteran creative Rob Baird and a pair of his co-workers from Mother New York, Seth Gaffney and Krystle Loyland, moved west to open independent agency Preacher in Austin. When they started, their hopes were to become part of and help enrich the thriving creative culture of the town, and in just a little over two years, they've done just that.
In the last year alone the agency has had some big account wins including multiple Beam Suntory brands, Crate & Barrel, Venmo and Bonobos and has made its mark with standout creative work, including efforts for Squarespace featuring musician Leon Bridges and another starring John Malkovich playing some of David Lynch's most iconic characters, a partnership with the Lynch Foundation. The agency also delivered more laughs for Tommy John, a charming, chaotic holiday scenario for Crate & Barrel and the first national campaigns for Bonobos and Venmo. It also captured all the "feels" of virtual reality in spots for Samsung, including a new holiday ad that broke this week.
While he's not trying to keep the momentum going at Preacher, Chief Creative Officer Mr. Baird can be found making all sorts of mischief elsewhere, as you'll see in the latest edition of "Six Things."
1. He didn't graduate from college because of Longhorn football. After repeatedly changing majors and racking up far more hours than needed for one diploma, he still owed one summer school science credit for a degree in advertising. But his assigned lab partner was University of Texas' star quarterback at the time, and he found learning everything about the football program way more important than learning everything about physical science. They both may have failed that class.
2. He proposed to his fiancé with a painting. After seeing a piece by graffiti legend Steve "ESPO" Powers in a book that read "Be My Co-Defendant," he thought that would be an amazing way to ask for marriage. He had worked with Steve years ago on a project and reached out just hoping to buy a screen print, but the artist insisted on repainting the original and that Rob "do this thing right." Thankfully, five years later when he actually had the ring to go with the sign, she said, "Yes."
3. He's such an an anal art director he constantly touches up the walls at home. He's not super proud of it but can't help himself, and always has a fresh bucket and brush on standby for the inevitable scuffs of life. He downplays to his fiancé how often this actually happens, but is often busted by the dog turning up with dried white paint all over his nose. He loves the smell of paint.
4. He has a weiner dog named Waylon that he wants to race professionally. After watching the races outside Austin and too many YouTube clips, he feels like Waylon could compete. He certainly seems competitively fast when he runs in the opposite direction he's being called, runs away from the dog walker, runs away from Rob and runs after other dogs.
5. His grandmother was a professional artist. She was a master fine artist and teacher who painted giant Texas landscapes and still lifes. Seeing a bit of talent in her eight-year-old grandson, she devoted herself to teaching Rob "true" art. She eventually gave up in frustration after a few months when he stubbornly refused to paint any subjects that weren't whitetail deer and Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks.
6. He drunk-purchased his dream car on eBay. Since he was a kid, his dream car was the Woody, the classic Jeep Grand Wagoneer with the wood paneling. One night he was out with a group of friends at dinner and did a quick Google search to show one of them the truck. It happened to be a live eBay sale link, and after several thrilling hours of bourbon-fueled bid raises he "won" his dream. Woody is currently residing at a local repair shop, and Rob is no longer allowed to go on eBay unsupervised.