Critical Mass Reviews

Updated March 13, 2015
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3.0
91 Reviews
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Critical Mass CEO Dianne Wilkins
Dianne Wilkins
61 Ratings

Pros
  • Most people are great to work with (in 13 reviews)

  • Offers a very good work life balance as employees are rarely required to put in late hours at the office (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • A willingness to bend over backwards on projects with little to no reward (in 4 reviews)

  • This company likes to exploit younger professionals who are less likely to complain about a work life balance (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Meh

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Critical Mass

    Pros

    Very diverse and supportive, fun laid back culture

    Cons

    Little opportunity for advancement, lots of agency politics

  2. Playtime

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Planner in Chicago (Guatemala)
    Former Employee - Planner in Chicago (Guatemala)

    I worked at Critical Mass full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Good agency if you're a developer or a project manager. It's run by project managers, and the developers roll in around 10 and leave at 4:30.

    There's always lots of beer in the fridge.

    Cons

    The creative work simply isn't very good. The agency prioritizes timelines, "shipping", and keeping clients pacified over creative.

    There is no strategic thinking. The relationships that Critical Mass has with its clients are so far downstream from strategy that the briefs they get are of the "turn this campaign into an iPad app" variety. If you want to do strategy (not UX - which is all well and good, but UX and strategy are different things) then stay far, far away.

    Agency leadership is not strategic, either in the sense of "understanding how marketing and communications work", or in the sense of "having a plan and steering the agency in a clear direction."

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Beer fridges and townhalls are not the same thing as having a culture.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful

    A decent place to be if you're senior management, but not a great place for someone junior looking to learn or grow.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Designer
    Former Employee - Designer

    I worked at Critical Mass

    Pros

    Big brands, international network of offices.

    Cons

    Poor upper management. A lot of favoritism and not a lot of career development or communication.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on giving your employees opportunities to learn and grow. Challenge them to be even better. Be cautious about favoritism and its impact on overall morale.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. Just remember, it's all business

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Creative Director in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Associate Creative Director in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Critical Mass full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Some really nice and smart people. Lots of company-sponsored fun and drinking.

    Cons

    Passive-aggressive people, particularly in management. Some incompetent people who have leadership positions and doesn't seem to be any attempt to change that.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Open your eyes to what is going on and don't just believe what people say - see if for yourselves.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. Ups & downs

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Critical Mass full-time

    Pros

    The people are nice, and the culture is fun. It's heavily encouraged to participate. Also, it has a smaller agency feel to it and the execs are very approachable.

    Cons

    Work life balance can be overwhelming. You feel like you have to stay late or put in extra hours in order to advance or get recognized. Too many times I've seen good talent overworked and under appreciated.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. Global DigitalMarketing Agency with a focus on an integrated customer experience; Office expanding in NYC everyday.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Critical Mass

    Pros

    - Great environment, a bit small but in a way that allows people to build actual relationships.
    - Terrific client rapport, highly respected and thought of as thought leaders.
    - Moving across disciplines is rather easy and even support by upper management.

    Cons

    - A smaller office sometimes leads to a little less structure.
    - Career growth/development can get muddled with turnover; expected at most agencies unfortunately.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  8. Work hard, play hard, learn lots.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Critical Mass

    Pros

    -Working with some very sharp, interesting, nice people
    -Learned lots
    -Misc. other perks: e.g. free breakfasts every Wednesday, lunch once a month, beer tap, etc.

    Cons

    -Work could be chaotic at times
    -Lack of formalized review process

    Recommends
  9. 3 people found this helpful

    Too big for their britches.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Employee in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Critical Mass full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Offers a very good work life balance as employees are rarely required to put in late hours at the office. Office perks are inline with most creative agencies, including beer o'clock on Fridays, bonuses and recognition for a job well done, and decent employee benefits. Despite the cliquey culture there are some great people there.

    Cons

    Even though most everyone in the Chicago office seems friendly, it's mainly on the surface as it is very cliquey. Upward mobility seems hampered by said cliqueness, since the most interesting and engaging projects tend to be assigned to people who are close to upper management. Backpats in townhall meetings seemed self-congratulatory and hardly sincere.

    Teams and disciplines fail to share their expertise or project knowledge among each other resulting in inefficiencies across departments. Although there are some talented individuals, the Chicago office lacks the enthusiasm or creativity to produce award-winning work, which appears to be self-perpetuating. Sadly, this last year was fraught with such low morale and non-existent comradery that it became a depressing place to work. Expect to be siloed into project teams for years or months at a time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Culture trickles down from the top, so consider encouraging a more inclusive environment where employees are nurtured. These days lux perks aren't enough, employees want to feel engaged and proud of their work. Working in isolation does not encourage growth or innovation.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful

    Project Manager for 2 years

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Critical Mass full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Fun people when they aren't working.

    Cons

    Production work. Morale dropped. ZERO leadership.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Figure out who you are. Try to retain talent.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. Foot in the Door

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Designer in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Current Employee - Designer in Calgary, AB (Canada)

    I have been working at Critical Mass full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    -High level accounts
    -Gain digital experience
    -Free Breakfasts, Beer O'clock, and events
    -Time-Off and benefits are great
    -Most people are great to work with
    -Open and modern office space make it easy to communicate with team

    Cons

    -Cliquey
    -Management gets all the good work while entry level designers and seniors get "dog work"
    -Work lots of overtime to get recognized
    -Sometimes spoken to in not the most respectful tone
    -Lots of pressure on projects
    -Lots of work that is "hush hush" and the same certain people being chosen for that work

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take more initiative into getting to know your team and staff, and being genuinely interested in their work life. Making sure the staff is handling everything properly and if they are satisfied with the work they are given. Your team will stop being motivated if all they do is cut assets and do red-line documents

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

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