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Special Project

Special Project
From the 10th Annual Shorty Awards


Entered in Short 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 short-form video to serve as a quick introduction to what the farewell event would be. While other videos throughout the campaign incorporated more information, the first short-form video simply provided a preview to our audiences for what was to come.

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 posted a series of videos to our social channels, beginning with a 30-second video to announce the farewell event.

This short video served as an introduction to our #UA747Farewell campaign. By watching this video, every follower—whether they were familiar with the aircraft or not—could understand the significance of its retirement. The upbeat, celebratory video generated excitement for the #UA747Farwell announcement by animating retro photos from the 1970s. After seeing this announcement of the upcoming celebration, followers could recognize the similar videos that followed on Facebook and other social channels. Overall, this short-form video increased initial awareness of the upcoming celebration and provided a foundation for the rest of our videos' exemplary performances.



-189k video views for short-length video

-995k impressions for short-length video

-59k engagements for short-length video


This video announcement received an engagement rate of 6.5%, 93% higher than the average engagement rate of all Facebook videos during this time frame. Additionally, the video received 4 times the average number of engagements on Twitter posts during this time.


-141k video views

-49k engagements


-48k video views

-10k engagement


Entrant Company / Organization Name

United Airlines, SocialCode


Entry Credits