DM9DDB made a hackathon to find solution for Sao Paulo’s water crisis

Creativity, CSR

Brazilian agency DM9DDB launched a hackathon searching for solutions to help tackling a huge water crisis that Sao Paulo is going through and which is affecting the entire state population, posing a real threat to the well-being of the Brazilian people and economy.

ddbrasil 1

The hackathon organized by DM9DDB generated over 50 ideas being presented in one hour, nine shortlists, and three winning ideas which were awarded Reals 5,000 each (around Euro 1,550/ USD 1,850).

A hackathon is a dynamic technique that results in a lot of engagement. And the reality facing São Paulo residents is increasingly demanding that the population participate and work together to solve the problem. That’s why, through this innovative process, we combined our main asset, people, with our best product, ideas. The result was a selection of innovative and viable ideas to save water that will be shared with society

Laura Chiavone,

Planning VP DM9DDB.

The hackathon mobilized the agency’s 400 staff members, who worked on the proposal presentations for four days. From the shortlist, which contained nine ideas, three were awarded prizes:

The award winning ideas were:

  • Shower Soundtrack – Songs with instructional lyrics, a gradual tempo and short duration, to play in the bathroom and help people take faster showers. When the song stops, it’s time to turn off the faucet. The idea is to create a series of playlists that feature a range of different genres, such as children’s music, rock, MPB, etc.
  • Window Collector – The idea behind the window collector is to create a network of low-cost, low-effort windowsill rainwater collectors. To increase the viability of the product, the idea is to standardize installation and make heavy use of colors, making the action very colorful.
  • The Power of beard – A good sense of humor was the best incentive for this campaign, which would promote saving water by providing a simple alternative everyone can adopt. The idea is to encourage men not to shave for a determined period of time. This way, less water will be spent every day and everyone will acquire an “engaged hipster” look. After all, beards are in fashion!

Força na Barba menor





  • Operation Anti-drip – An awareness movement that utilizes Waze to locate water leaks and distribute anti-drip faucet attachments. Furthermore, at DM9, we can turn the agency’s logo, located at the entrance, into an acrylic rainwater collector.
  • Waterless logo – Major brands will remove the blue from their logos to raise awareness.
  • Hold back your tears – It’s time to stop complaining and think of ways to save water. This campaign shows people that small changes can help and suggests that assigning blame should be left for after the problem has been solved.
  • Reality show: No Water – A way to show the population what everyday life with little or no water is like. A way to show and teach people how they can get by (and also how they can save water).
  • Sterilized bottles – Reclaiming water left over in drinking water bottles, collecting it all into a barrel. This water would be used to clean plastic bottles with a sterilizer instead of washing them using facet water.
  • Water diet – An app that prescribes a daily “diet” based on your water intake and helps you more consciously save water.

The projects were selected by a committee composed of renowned journalists, the agency’s executives, and the company Sharewater, which specializes in the reducing the use of water: Alberto Gaspar, Globo Television Network; Paulina Chamorro, Estadão Radio; Diogo Almeida, Sharewater; from DM9DDB, the table included Laura Chiavone, Planning VP, Marco Versolato, Creative VP, Paulo Queiroz and Alcir Gomes Leite, Co-presidents.