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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Awards

AT&T: Strongest Snaps

Entered in Snapchat


The ways in which fans view and engage with college football is rapidly diversifying from simply watching horizontal TV to capturing, sharing and viewing user experiences on vertical smartphones. To stay ahead of this seismic shift in consumer behaviour AT&T set two goals:

1) Behavioural: Engage college football fans with a mobile first idea that shows how AT&T keeps fans connected to their passion.

2) Insight: Develop a databank of results and insights that set the standard for future best practice.

Strategy and Execution


Smartphones are central to our lives. They're the first thing we grab in the morning, the last thing we check at night. However, the networks that power them are a totally different issue. People love their phones, but they could care less about their networks.

As such, consumers should be reminded of the role that AT&T plays in powering their lives and fuelling their passions.


Showcase that the strength of AT&T's network enables enhanced college football fandom.

Mobile First Implementation

With 7 billion daily video views, Snapchat is a rapidly growing mobile platform. Much of this growth is due to sports content in its Discover and Live Story sections. During college football season, Snapchat draws millions of fans making it the perfect partner for our mobile first activation.

We decided to leverage Snapchat's 3V video opportunity. We chose to deliver videos interspersed among editorial content in Discover in the lead up to the College Football Playoff, and UGC content during the Army vs. Navy game. All this work would later culminate in AT&T's sponsorship of the 2016 National Championship Game Live Story on Snapchat.

We picked the period before the Playoff to maximize fans' desire for content – there are fewer games, but fans are juhgst as hungry for their football fix. This meant that they'd be more willing to engage with our content.

Creative Idea

The campaign featured Bo Jackson and legends, such as Jerry Rice, Joe Montana, Emmitt Smith and Steve Young using the AT&T network to increase their enjoyment of the season. Their antics included video calling Sean Astin, who played Rudy, as well as seeing who had the best social media profile picture and who could talk the best smack in a tweet.

We tested best practice from other social platforms by recommending that we feature celebrities and not introducing branding until after the 1st second Celebrities are a hook, but branding in the 1st second turns viewers away.

We produced two separate creative ideas that showed how Jerry and Emmitt used the AT&T network. As Snapchat's content is created on smartphones, we wanted to mimic this in our execution.

The first route is Jerry and Emmitt video chatting on the network, getting each other psyched up over the upcoming College Football Playoff. To emphasize the importance of AT&T in facilitating these video chats, we staged the framing of a phone that showed AT&T signal powering these calls.

The second route has Bo filming Jerry and Emmitt as they simulate football plays while watching games. The final scene of this second route flips the camera angle back to Bo to simulate the switch of perspectives on a smartphone. This technique made the films feel even more native to Snapchat.

The level of attention paid to mimicking being shot on smartphones along with producing custom videos for a vertical and skippable video environment made this campaign unique among AT&T's efforts in showing how its network improves fans experiences as they can communicate with each other.


We set out with two clear objectives:

1) Behavioural: Engage college football fans with a mobile first idea that shows how AT&T keeps fans connected to their passion.

We met this by producing six individual 10-second vertical video ads that delivered millions of video views to engaged college football fans on Snapchat. This was the first time AT&T had produced vertical advertising for Snapchat.

2) Insight: Develop a databank of results and insights that set the standard for future best practice.

1. Must front load messaging

We found introducing branding early to be necessary as video completion rates on Snapchat are significantly lower than on other platforms.

2. Content must be refreshed sooner

Another key learning is that for the level of media we had within Snapchat (6 days worth of media), we should have produced more content. The first flight had an average % of video viewed, which was 11 percentage points higher than the campaign average. This suggests that despite fans initially enjoying the content, once they had seen the creative once or twice, they were less inclined to view again and skipped on.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Organic, Inc. , AT&T


Entry Credits