A large number of studies support the effectiveness of interventions aimed at reducing public stigma, which has numerous deleterious effects on the lives of people with mental illness. Missing from research literature, however, is an examination of intervention characteristics which may enhance their effectiveness. Drawing from the broader literature concerned with changing perceptions of social outgroups, the present research program explores the role of exemplar typicality—the degree to which the characteristics of outgroup members who participants read about or interact with adhere to stereotypes about their group. Scholars have arrived at divergent conclusions regarding the level of typicality that is the most beneficial, prompting experimentation into this issue. In three studies concerned with stigma against people with mental illness, participants read about (n = 262) or had contact with (E-contact, n = 248; imagined contact, n = 506) a typical, moderately atypical, or extremely atypical exemplar. Overall, the results suggested typical exemplars to be detrimental or less effective, while atypical exemplars appeared to produce lower public stigma. But there were inconsistent findings regarding the difference between the moderately and extremely atypical exemplars. These results call for intergroup contact scholars to reexamine the claim that typical exemplars are ideal, given their potential to aggravate biases toward some vulnerable social groups. The findings also suggest that organizations implementing prevalent interventions such as contact and personal narratives to reduce mental health stigma should carefully attend to the characteristics of the outgroup exemplars involved.