Facebook hosting Vancouver advertising hackathon

Facebook is hosting a one-day hackathon in Vancouver today, pairing 22 local creatives with four small Vancouver brands to develop and produce a Facebook marketing campaign.

Creatives began “Made in, Made for Vancouver” at Facebook’s Vancouver office this morning, meeting with their small marketer clients before visiting the businesses to shoot their ideas and returning to Facebook to complete production and present their work to judges.

The agencies taking part are Rethink, Cossette, The&Partnership and Taxi. They are working on campaigns for:

  • Alleles Design Studio: which provides fashion-forward and accessible prosthetic covers for amputees;
  • Flytographer: an online service that connects travellers with local photographers in 275 cities worldwide for vacation photo shoots;
  • Vancouver Island Sea Salt: which produces all natural sea salt harvested from Oyster Bay on Vancouver Island; and
  • Winter Daisy: an interior design studio focused on home décor designed specifically for children.

It’s the second “Made in, Made for” event hosted by Facebook’s OpenCreate platform following “Made in, Made for NYC” in January. OpenCreate also conducted a “Create against hate” program to help NGOs fight against hate and discrimination, although that unfolded over three months.

Facebook says the OpenCreate platform was launched to “leverage creativity in the service of community.”

In a video announcing the initiative, Andrew Keller, global creative director for Facebook’s creative shop (and one time Crispin Porter + Bogusky creative director) explained how OpenCreate aligns with Facebook’s often repeated mission to bring the world closer. “I was inspired to create something that allows the creative industry to participate in that,” he said. It is about bringing together “thinkers, makers and builders” to tackle real issues that matter to humanity, he said.

Facebook is, of course, a massively important platform in the brand builder’s toolkit, with remarkable reach and potential for connecting with consumers. However, it has also endured many months of criticism about how it has been abused by bad actors with objectives that are the exact opposite of Facebook’s—using the platform to spread hate, disinformation and discord that divides communities.

If you scan the headlines today you see stories about divisiveness rather than community, said Keller. “At a time when our world seems increasingly divided and people are often feeling more alone, it is more important than ever to find ways to connect with one another and remind us of what we share rather than what pulls us apart.”

“Made in, Made for NYC”  followed a similar format of creatives working together to come up with ad campaigns for small businesses. For example, when the owner of Ray’s Candy Store—an East Village institution serving decadently naughty junk foods 24/7—told creatives “This place shouldn’t exist” (referring to the consumer trend toward healthier eating), the creatives came up with a campaign built around #YouShouldntBeHere, with a short film and Instagram stickers for fans to post to their own stories.

Photo by Jack Church on Unsplash


David Brown