2 Minutes With … Keith Cartwright, President and CCO of Cartwright

The journey to his own eponymous agency

Keith Cartwright spent time at Ogilvy, TBWA\Chiat\Day, Wieden + Kennedy and The Martin Agency before opening his own shop, Union Made Creative, in 2012. After four years, he joined Butler, Shine, Stern and Partners and then moved to 72andSunny.

In December, he announced he was leaving 72, and earlier this month it became clear why: He was opening a new shop, with WPP's backing, called Cartwright, which will draw from the global creative network of Grey Group. The agency has made a remarkable early impression with "The Choice," a new P&G spot addressing white America in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

The Choice

Cartwright is also a co-founder of Saturday Morning, a creative collective that helps build awareness, promote change and shift the perception that black lives are in some way not as important as others.

We spent two minutes with Cartwright to learn more about his background, his creative inspirations and recent work he's admired.


Keith, tell us...

The town where you were born, and where you live now.

I'm from Dallas, Texas. I currently live in L.A.

What you wanted to be when you grew up.

I wanted to be a fine artist. As a teenager my heroes were Ernie Barnes and Andrew Wyeth.

How you discovered you were creative.

I realized at a young age I wasn't happy unless I was making something.

A moment from high school or college that changed your life.

I changed my major from fine art to communication design. It was a world that I never thought about.

The best book you've read lately.

The Book of Why by Judea Pearl.

Your favorite movie.

Moneyball.

Your favorite Instagram follow.

Since Covid, @dnice.

How the Covid-19 crisis has changed your life, personally or professionally, in recent months.

We started a company just before Covid. It has completely reshaped the way I look at business. A lot of the lessons we learned are now a part of our DNA. 

Your favorite creative project from the past year, and why.

The NFL 100 work was so much fun. Partially because I got to meet my football heroes. It's an experience I'll never forget.

NFL | The 100-Year Game
Someone else's creative project that you've been envious of lately.

The KFC work over the past three years still holds up as some of the best work I've seen in an incredibly difficult category.

Your main strength as a creative person.

Listening.

Your weakness or blind spot.

Reflection.

One thing that always makes you happy

Saturday Morning.

One thing that always makes you sad.

Ignorance.

What you'd be doing if you weren't in advertising.

Industrial designer.

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd is editor in chief of the Clio Awards and the founding editor of Muse by Clio.

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