Case Study

Critical Mass


Los Angeles

October 2021

This is some of the best content we have that’s not client-based in the past 10 years.

Valerie Carlson

Valerie Carlson

Global Chief Creative Director, Critical Mass

The Challenge

Critical Mass, a digital experience design and marketing agency, recently established an artist-in-residence (AIR) program founded alongside visual artist Shantell Martin.

CM : AIR is a bold initiative focused on redefining the way that advertisers collaborate with artists. The program will address artist-brand exploitation by creating a space for open discourse on equity in contract negotiations, intellectual property, and modeling new norms for creative collaboration.

Critical Mass partnered with Happily to launch the CM : AIR program with a virtual event, AIR Artist x Agency Roundtable. The live broadcast was to be an open salon-style discussion between various creatives, the inaugural artist-in-residence Shantell Martin, and other industry professionals. The entire event was to be filmed and broadcasted live from the home of the Critical Mass Global CCO in Los Angeles.

We were getting texts that this was the “Most gorgeous virtual event I have ever seen."

Lucy Cross

Lucy Cross

Director of PR & Communications, Critical Mass

The Solution

The Happily Broadcast Team assembled a Pop-Up Studio to transform a residential living room space into a complete filming set and broadcasting studio. We had state-of-the-art recording equipment, and the latest interactive streaming presentation tools to create a broadcast at the highest quality possible. The Happily Specialists included a Director, a Producer, Camera Operators, a Streaming Engineer, an Audio Technician, a Chief Lighting Technician, as well as Grips.

As part of our services, we arranged a high-speed internet connection at the residence for the day of the broadcast. The quality of a broadcast and live stream is utterly dependent on a stable and strong internet connection, and, like most residential areas, the internet quality at the home was not going to be sufficient for professional broadcast standards. Happily was able to bring in an affordable and powerful internet solution.

Three days prior to the recording, COVID-19 tests were sent to and completed by all talent and staff who would be on set to ensure the safety of all those involved. On set, everyone wore masks until talent went on camera. More on our Happily Safety Protocols can be found here.

The Happily Web Team built a custom microsite for this virtual event. The microsite acted as a viewing platform of the live broadcast, as well as a space for on-demand viewing following the event. All the amazing graphics were designed and created by the Critical Mass Team in collaboration with Happily.

So respectful of my space. I felt super comfortable with everyone.

Valerie Carlson

Valerie Carlson

Global Chief Creative Officer, Critical Mass

The Results

The AIR Artist x Agency Roundtable with Shantell Martin was a groundbreaking discussion leading the way for a cultural shift in how artists and brands interact and collaborate.

The quality of the broadcast was outstanding, and the expertise of everyone involved were clear in the final result. Happily provided Critical Mass full-service broadcasting capabilities that accurately represented the style and professionalism of the CM brand. In the end, we were all elated with how polished and sophisticated the final result turned out.

The roundtable included:

  • Artist Shantell Martin (She/her), who is also CM Founder & Artist-in-residence
  • Global Chief Creative Officer of Critical Mass, Valerie Carlson (She/her)
  • Founder and Managing Partner of m ss ng p eces, Ari Kuschnir (He/him)
  • Emmy-nominated Creative and Mental Health Advocate, Heidi Berg (They/them)
  • Advisor and Author of Applied Empathy: The New Language of Leadership, Michael Ventura (He/him)

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