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Special Project

Special Project
From the 12th Annual Shorty Awards

In the Now: Student Pilot Lands Plane Solo

Entered in Facebook Video


To create a viral video based almost entirely on audio content, because this hero deserved to be seen.


Strategy and Execution

We identified the most engaging moments of this incredible (and scary, and uplifting) story, and optimized the video to connect our audience with Max Sylvester’s story. Max was on his first training flight when his instructor passed out behind the controls. He remained cool, calm and collected and followed careful instructions communicated to him by air traffic control, ultimately landing the plane with perfect precision. Our strategy included finding the most emotional moments of the audio recording of that conversation, to narrate this story that takes you through a range of emotions, from fear and suspense to empathy, relief and joy. You can’t watch this video without holding your breath. 


We know our audience felt a deep supportive connection to the hero of our video and were rooting for him to land successfully. 50% of viewers watched past the 2-minute mark on this video, which amassed 1.5 million views on Facebook alone. 



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Entry Credits