Ad agencies compete in Yahoo! Hackathon

NEW DELHI: Yahoo! India has announced the successful completion of its first ever Agency Hack in India, the first to be held outside the United States.

The 24-hour non-stop Hackathon was held at Gurgaon on 2 and 3 November. The event saw participation from leading advertising agencies with teams from Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai competing to come up with smart digital and tech-powered solutions to address real-life challenges.

In the past, Yahoo! has organized successful Agency Hacks in New York with large advertising groups such as WPP and Publicis.

Agency teams comprising developers, designers, user-experience specialists, copy-writers, media planners and digital strategists got together to come up with innovative ideas and build prototype solutions within 24 hours. Participating teams could choose to either build a campaign-based solution or a product-based one using technologies from Yahoo! and other players. Seven agencies, including Ogilvy, Webchutney, Sapient Nitro, ad2c, Digitas, Indiatimes and Reprise Media participated in this event.

Eight working prototypes ranging from mobile applications, to companion apps in a living room experience, to social apps for voting and blood donations, were completed in the frenzied 24-hour hacking event.

The hacks were adjudged by a team comprising technology, media and marketing experts. The Gold Prize was won by the team from Web Chutney (Mandeep Singh, Sattvik Mishra, Gurbaksh Singh, Abhishek Saxena and Akshay Raheja) with their whacky utilitarian hack ‘Y! Loo‘ - a hardware-led hack that usesYahoo! Messenger and allows users to remotely check the status of the office loos (and conference rooms). Users can knock on the door if the loo is engaged and it is smart enough to notify the user back, once vacant. Team Digitas (Akshat Bhardwaj, Prosenjit Som, Sidharth K Dhanda, Vivek R Sharma) walked away with the Silver Prize for their twitter-based hack "Twinority Report", a tweet investigator that anticipates criminal intentions ranging from drug abuse to suicide to serious national threats by analyzing keyword patterns. Bronze Prize was won by Sapient Nitro (Syed Suffiyan, Parag Gajjar) for their movie viewing companion experience platform "Lens".

"It feels awesome to have won at the first-ever Agency Hack in India. For this event we wanted to solve a problem that we ourselves face and that‘s how we came up with the Y Loo. We are five people in our team, and only one has been to the US. So a trip to participate in the international hack event is thrilling. We are so kicked about it!", said Sattvik Mishra, from the winning team from Web Chutney.

The Agency Hack was one of the initiatives that Yahoo! hosted in the run up to the prestigious Yahoo! Big Idea Chair Awards. This year‘s Yahoo! Big Idea Chair, has received a significant 383 entries across 8 categories. The entries will be evaluated and judged by a panel of 16 eminent jury members from diverse sectors within the marketing and advertising world. The panel will shortlist three outstanding campaigns in each of the 8 categories: Best Use of Display Advertising, Best Online Video Advertising, Best Use of Social Media, Best Use of Technology, Best Use of Mobile Advertising, Best Use of Search, Digital 360, andYahoo! Big Idea Chair Award. They will also select the Grand Winner from amongst all the entries received across all categories. The winners will be announced at a gala event in Mumbai on 9 November.

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