Anchored by a Star Wars-themed Boeing 737-800, Fly the Friendly Galaxy includes social outreach, outdoor advertising, a 30-second spot, and an in-flight safety video featuring appearances by characters like C-3PO, R2-D2, and the Stormtroopers.
The excitement hits the airwaves this week in a new commercial titled Wing Walkers starring United employee Channon Dade.
Dade works by day as one of United’s ramp employees — also known as “wing walkers” — but turns into an acrobatic, saber-wielding daredevil in the spot.
Filmed at Ontario International Airport and directed by Victoria Mahoney — second unit director of Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker — the spot is one of many campaign elements celebrating the conclusion of the Skywalker Saga.
WING WALKER UNITED AIRLINES
Praising the commercial’s “wonderfully playful nod” to the upcoming Star Wars movie, Mahoney offers gratitude to Disney and LucasFilm for putting her “name in the hat” while also showing mad respect for the airline’s advertising philosophy.
“When I learned United Airlines upholds an amazing mandate to hire true life United Employees in their commercials,” she recalls, “I jumped for joy and found myself endlessly inspired watching each homemade audition by women, who happen to be as rare in their job of Wing Walker as I am in my job.”
Besides allowing Mahoney the chance to work with Prettybird’s Kerstin Emhoff and Director of Photography Autumn Arkapaw, Wing Walkers represents United’s first nationwide advertising buy in recent years. It is scheduled to run through January.
A common mission
Complementing the 30-second Wing Walkers is one of the most exciting safety videos every made. Highlighting Star Wars fandom in many of the international destinations that United serves, it builds on a goal that both the movie and the airline strive to reach.
“United and Star Wars share a common mission of connecting people and uniting the world, and this new commercial exemplifies that commitment,” says United Marketing VP Mark Krolick. “Every day, our employees around the world combat elements as they get thousands of customers to destinations throughout the Friendly Galaxy safely and on time.”
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