#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. While we leveraged all lengths of video for this campaign, we specifically chose a medium-length format for informational videos. This would allow us to include enough content to pique viewers' interest, but not too much to overwhelm them.
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. Our "By the Numbers" video was able to make the measurements of the 747 entertaining by providing context. For example, the 747's wingspan of 211.5 feet becomes more relatable when the viewer realizes that's ten feet wider than the entire Lincoln Memorial.
Secondly, we communicated the emotional significance of the #UA747Farewell by using the perspectives of employees and passengers who remembered the aircraft so fondly. We posted a one-minute video, titled "Upper Deck," that gave our followers a unique view up the stairs into the 747's coveted upper deck. Similar to "By the Numbers," this video was able to make facts and figures emotionally resonate with viewers. With interviews from former flight attendants, footage from its earliest flights in the 1970s and current UGC, we were able to demonstrate why sitting in the upper deck was like being part of the best party in the sky.
-534k video views for medium-length video
-3.6MM impressions for medium-length video
-99k engagements for medium-length video
VIDEO #1: BY THE NUMBERS
This video achieved a 52% higher reach compared to the average Facebook video post during this time frame.
-138k video views
-19k video views
VIDEO #2: UPPER DECK
This video received 133% and 67% more video views compared to the average video views for video during this time frame on Facebook and Twitter respectively.
-356k video views
-21k video views
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