University of Phoenix aims to turn around the public perception of the for-profit online school as a "diploma mill" with its latest campaign, "We Rise."
Created by 180LA, the campaign is the school's first creative effort since January 2015 and highlights the pride of its current students and alumni, who are typically working adults with families. Launched days after the announcement that the Apollo Education Group -- the university's parent company-- is going to be sold to a private equity company, the campaign shifts UOP's focus from enrollment to retention.
"We wanted to show the determination of a typical student who wants to get a degree while working and taking care of his or her family," said Chris Mendola, 180LA's founder and chairman.
The main TV spot features several scenes inspired by students' real stories -- working mothers, farmers, army veterans, and waitresses juggling books and assignments on break, as a modified version of the "Wizard of Oz" tune "If I Only Had a Brain" provides the soundtrack, informing the hardships the students face to get their degrees and calling out to employers: "You're going to want someone like me, but only if you have a brain."
This is 180LA's first effort since the agency took on the account and, according to Mr. Mendola, the concept of "We Rise" came from the sheer determination he and his partners saw in the student body and alumni. They wanted to convey that to the world and prospective employers. "They are determined, smart, passionate people. How can they be overlooked?" he said.
See more at Ad Age.