28 May 18

How the dtac x YouTube Hackathon boosted content creators’ followers by nearly 200 percent

Innovative format allows up-and-coming channels to create branded videos viewers love.

In February 2018, dtac put five video content makers in one room, with the intention of pushing them to their creative limits. For the first time in Thailand, YouTube creators were challenged to the full-day real intensive hackathon where they competed with one another to create exciting video pitches to support dtac Jai Dee campaign.


The videos were produced thanks to a challenging format inspired by dtac accelerate’s startup incubator. Five teams were brought in, given a brief, and then called back to pitch 10 days later. The actual pitch day was run much like a hackathon, with each pitch followed by critiques from mentors and other teams, and two hours to revise their work. After three rounds, the ideas were so good, dtac chose to execute all five. The first three, by Overact, Baobei 13 and Yellow Octopus TV, have already been posted with the aforementioned results, which defied expectations.


With brand support, the creators achieved 40 percent higher view-rates from dtac content than the normal content on their channels. They outperformed their organic view rates by up to a third. And their followers increased by up to 187 percent. Given that branded content normally underperforms regular content, these numbers defy industry averages.

Pipat Srimattayakul, VP, Head of Social Engagement Department said, “Most brands don’t allow YouTube creators enough creative freedom. They push so hard to retain control of the message that they end up producing a commercial one. Rather than doing that, we allowed the creators as much creative freedom as possible. We let them talk in their native voice.”


dtac benefited from the hackathon just as much as the creators did. The cost per view was one fourth of industry averages and the percentage of views making it to the end of the video was nearly 70 percent, double industry averages.

“Now we’re working on doing this again with 14 people. It’s not just about putting out videos, it’s about supporting a YouTube content creators ecosystem, just like dtac accelerate created a startup ecosystem. We’re excited about this, YouTube is excited and the content creators are excited,” said Mr. Pipat.

The videos can be seen at:

       Yellow Octopus:



The next batch of videos will be released from May to July, 2018.

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