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Special Project

Special Project
From the 10th Annual Shorty Awards


Entered in Long Form Video


#UA747Farewell was an initiative to honor United's 747 aircraft on its final flight from San Francisco to Honolulu. Known as the "Queen of the Skies," the Boeing 747 is a revolutionary aircraft that had built up a considerable fan base during its career and was loved by customers and crew alike. To commemorate the retirement of United's most memorable aircraft, we recreated its very first flight from SFO to HNL, complete with vintage uniforms and a Hawaiian-inspired menu. To raise awareness of this event and recap its success, we leveraged all social channels to tell the story of the 747—from its first commercial flight in 1970 to its heroic farewell on November 7, 2017.

In 2017, on United's social media pages, video content outperformed all other types of posts. For example, Facebook posts that included video received 28.9% more reach on average compared to other Facebook posts, and video content on Twitter received 61.7% more retweets on average compared to regular tweets. Using this insight, our objective for the #UA747Farewell campaign was to tell the story of United's most memorable aircraft through video content that was optimized for each social channel. We specifically leveraged long-form video because a longer format permitted us to comprehensively cover the aircraft's history along with the promotion and recapping of its final flight.

Strategy and Execution

Though customers view United as an established, trusted brand, we're always looking for new ways to build personal relationships with our followers. We saw the world's connection with one of the most recognizable aircrafts in the world, the "Queen of the Skies," as an opportunity to both humanize United by sharing a more personal side of our history and develop a genuine emotional connection with followers on all social channels. To foster this connection with United's followers, we had a two-tiered approach.

First, we became a reliable and friendly source of information for followers. We offered interesting facts about the aircraft and its history—from its dimensions, to what food was served on board when it first took flight—through documentary-style videos. Each video served a specific purpose in telling the overall #UA747Farewell story. For example, our six-minute long 747 bio piece took a comprehensive look back at the aircraft's 47-year history. Featuring first-person perspectives from those who knew her best, including pilots, flight attendants and passengers, as well as rarely seen archival footage and photography from United and Boeing, we were able to communicate how and why she won the hearts of so many during her nearly 50 years of service.

Secondly, we communicated the emotional significance of the #UA747Farewell by documenting the celebration from the point of view of employees and passengers who remembered the aircraft so fondly. We recapped the event with an energetic, four-minute long video. Through this video, we were able to bring more than one million viewers on board the historic farewell flight and feature a range of guests from United CEO, Oscar Munoz, to the daughter of the captain who flew United's first 747 flight. Overall, this recap video captured the emotional resonance of the event from start to finish, and allowed followers who couldn't attend to experience it with us.



-2.6MM video views for long-form videos

-11.7MM impressions

-339k engagements for long-form videos


This video received a 5.75% engagement rate on Facebook, which was 71% more than the average for Facebook video during this time period.


-359k video views

-115k engagements


-901k video views

-13k engagement


Final flight videos across channels increased positive brand awareness with a 48% net sentiment.


- 1.1MM video views

-196k engagements


-243k video views

-6k engagements


-39k video views

-9k engagements


Entrant Company / Organization Name

United Airlines, SocialCode


Entry Credits