The New Wild West, Live Story & SnapChat

As a digital marketing hooligan, I have to know whats going on now, in a channel, as a trend, but also, what is around the corner; the future. I am constantly trying to stay ahead of the curve so that I can be of value to my clients. It’s no easy task, as often, this position is met with resistance, fear and even inertia. As proof from the recent Cannes conference, nobody really knows what is going on and what to do about it. Today, beyond the big 5 networks — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, & Pinterest — and there are dozens more that are quickly rising in usage or value for specific audiences and niches. It’s a ton to keep track of. For a brand or an agency it can be a deer in the headlights moment to decide where to spend your time or your money.

The Man With No Name now needs a twitter handle, snapchat feed, youtube, instagram and pinterest channel and be active producing content

I like to say we are in another Wild West cycle of our time. Meaning these “Communities” are very hard to police, difficult to build and there is uncertainty who to trust.

For a brand to be a hero, it has to be honest, powerful, skilled, smart and … on target.

So, today, let’s have a look at just one channel that is making great strides to connect the consumer to an event and and event to a brand and ultimately the brand to the consumer. A small, but rapidly growing town, called SnapChat.

Live Story (formerly called Our Story) showcases the story of an event in real-time by connecting together Snaps from attendees. Live Story, so far, has taken users into the crowd of the world’s best music festivals, the streets and stadium of Rio during the final of the World Cup, the rowdy tailgates of college football games, and the backstage madness of New York Fashion Week. New “Stories” are showing up at a rapid pace.


  • Snapchat users at the event can submit 50 to 200 hours of content in the form of 1 to 10 second photo and video Snaps
  • Submissions are curated into 3 to 7-minute Story for each day
  • Millions of Snapchat users view Snaps as they’re added to the Story


Live Story uses geo-location awareness to limit Snap submission to only those users that are physically on-site. In turn, the Story created is a genuine, undiluted reflection of the collective experience. SnapChat curates to make viewing effortless by cutting out the erroneous, repetitive, and offending content while keeping the viewing experience as unfiltered as possible.

Live Stories appear in the Live section of Snapchat alongside “Stories” posted by friends. Single-day Stories start shortly after the event begins and disappear 24 hours after the last Snap is posted. For multi-day events, each day’s Snaps disappear when new Snaps documenting the next day are ready to be posted.


Live Story is a platform for contextual marketing. Brands serve as exclusive sponsors and content contributors for Stories covering the whats important to their target audience. Millions of Snapchat users will view contextually-relevant, branded content that is seamlessly integrated within user-generated Snaps. Brand participation in a Live Story comes in the form of an opening “Title Snap” and multiple Brand Snaps woven throughout.


Each Live Story begins with a single Title Snap, featuring a photo or video submitted by a brand or its partners that sets context and establishes sponsorship. Lasting up to 10 seconds, the Title Snap includes an overlaid title for the Live Story and “brought to you by” messaging.

  • First Snap opening the Story
  • Photo or video
  • Shot on-site or in-advance
  • Includes title for the Story
  • Lasts up to 10 seconds
  • “Brought to you by” (or similar) messaging
  • Submitted to Snapchat team no less than 30 minutes prior to Story start time


Brand Snaps are 1 to 10-second pieces of exclusive brand content inserted between user-submitted Snaps. They can range from on-site, tightly integrated pieces of exclusive content to pre-produced, contextually-relevant commercial messages. When created on-site, Brand Snaps can present uniquely compelling viewpoints that directly contribute to the overall Story- viewing experience. Each Brand Snap is carefully inserted by Snapchat within the flow of user-generated Story content.

  • Contextually-relevant photos and videos
  • Shot on-site (recommended) or in advance
  • Videos up to 10 seconds, photos up to 5
  • 1 Brand Snap for every ~12.5 organic Snaps
  • Up to 6 Brand Snaps per story
  • First one appearing within first 10 Snaps
  • Includes brand logo
  • Labeled “Sponsored” and “Exclusive” (or similar)
  • Custom overlays are also possible
  • Mix of photo and video recommended
  • First Brand Snap submitted no less than 30 minutes prior to Story start time
  • Remainders are submitted during event


Snapchat CEO, Evan Spiegel talks about the ‘Internet Everywhere’ reality giving users the power to live and communicate at the same time instead of what used to be called “store and forward” in the media business. No longer do humans need to gather elements, to post them, publish them, develop them. Instead, it is truly real time, all the time.

“Internet Everywhere means that our old conception of the world separated into an online and an offline space is no longer relevant. Traditional social media required that we live experiences in the offline world, record those experiences, and then post them online to recreate the experience and talk about it,” says Spiegel.

So how are brands going to play in this space? How does a platform geared for the masses, let in a brand who really, at the end of the day, wants/needs to sell products and/or services? The winners in this marketing game will be the brands who put selling on the back burner and focus on value and experience. Once people value the brand, trust the brand, they will buy from the brand. Lesson? Stop selling, start Snapping.

Speaking of the Wild West, I’m broadbandito just about everywhere, I would love to hear your thoughts on SnapChat and any other emerging platform or tech.

Go ahead, make my day.