BrandRepublic takes us inside CM London
The digital agency Critical Mass has gone international with a creative offering that combines customer insight and innovation. As the London office looks to bolster its European credentials, Stuart Derrick asks what makes it different.
Read the entire article over at BrandRepublic
It’s pretty cliched to describe any agency as a best-kept secret, but in the case of Critical Mass, it might just be apt.
The West London-based digital agency has a low profile, but if you judge it by the company it keeps, then CM, as it is referred to by staff, has some impressive credentials. Adidas, Nissan, Procter & Gamble and Citi are just some of the brands that have turned to Critical Mass for its ability to deliver the kind of complex, immersive projects that most agencies wish they had in their portfolio. It has also recently been added to the BBC’s digital roster.
These are not just marquee names designed to impress in a PowerPoint presentation. The work delivered is impressive too, including a number of notable firsts.
The agency created the first online car configurator for Mercedes-Benz – a set-up that is now commonplace on car websites. It built the first personalised online shoe configurator, NIKEiD, which won the Grand Prix at Cannes. For Gucci, Critical Mass produced one of the first iPad apps in the market, launching with the device in 2010. And in 2011, it helped to sell the first-ever car via an online purchasing system – Nissan’s Leaf.
Not for Critical Mass the “puff and it’s gone” creative fireworks of some digital shops. Rather, the agency specialises in methodically building an understanding of the channels and platforms that best deliver extraordinary experiences to consumers. It’s an approach focused on identifying and solving business problems, and producing “work that works”.
In the fast-changing digital world, Critical Mass is about as close as you can get to veteran status. In the UK since 2007, the agency was born in 1995 in the uncool backwaters of Calgary in Canada. The chief executive, Dianne Wilkins, says this has created an outsider stance and a hunger that remains a point of difference. “We were from a place that nobody had heard of and nobody visited. We did not think like anybody else,” she explains.
Continue reading over at BrandRepublic