Madison Avenue is borrowing another page from the Silicon Valley crowd as a leading media agency plays host to a weekend-long “hackathon,” with the involvement of the music streaming service Spotify and four big marketer clients.
The hack weekend, as it is being billed, is to begin on Friday night and run through Sunday. The host is OMD, part of the Omnicom Media Group division of the Omnicom Group.
The four OMD clients taking part are the CW television network, McDonald’s, the Mountain Dew soft drink sold by PepsiCo and State Farm Insurance. All four use music as part of their advertising, marketing and branding initiatives.
OMD is inviting hundreds of developers to hack away at the Spin table tennis club in Manhattan, with about 150 signed up to date. The developers will be asked to compete against each other and build apps or products on the new Spotify music apps A.P.I., or application programming interface.
(What does that mean? Ask a hacker.)
The prizes to be awarded on Sunday night will include a grand prize of $10,000.
“A lot of innovation is driven by hackathons,” said Jonathan Haber, chief innovation officer at OMD.
“This is an opportunity for advertisers to push the boundaries of innovation,” he added, “and an opportunity for developers to build relationships with advertisers.”
This is the first event for OMD like this with brand involvement, Mr. Haber said, a statement that was echoed by Jeff Levick, chief advertising officer at Spotify.
“What’s surprised us is the level of enthusiasm coming out of the developer community,” Mr. Levick said.
The developers are not required to include brands in what they build during the event; representatives of the brands will be on hand during the weekend for advice and consultation.
“It made a lot of sense for us” to take part “as consumers change their behavior with how they discover music,” said Jamal Henderson, senior brand manager for Mountain Dew at Pepsi Americas Beverages, part of PepsiCo.
The Mountain Dew brand has a music initiative, Green Label Sound, and one of its bands, MNDR, will play during the hack weekend “while the hackers hack,” Mr. Henderson said, laughing.
Also on hand will be copious quantities of Mountain Dew because of its abilities to help developers “hack all night,” he added.
Jenny Danzi, assistant brand manager on Mountain Dew, will be at the event and serve as a judge.
“Music is very important to us,” said Caty Burgess, vice president for media strategies at CW, which is owned by CBS and Time Warner. She will be at the hack weekend, too, she added, calling herself “an O.K. Ping-Pong player.”
“I have people in my office every day” pitching ideas, Ms. Burgess said. “One of the exciting things about this is that it’s nice to get ahead of that.”
Ed Gold, advertising director at State Farm, said he welcomed a chance to have apps and products built “with State Farm in mind” after seeing “hackathons produce great new products at so many tech companies like Facebook, Google and beyond.”
“State Farm has always used music as a platform to reach passionate audiences,” Mr. Gold said, “and with Spotify playing such a large role in how consumers enjoy music we want to be on the forefront of what they’re doing.”