Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald received a Bachelor's in Communication degree from the University of Phoenix this year, and in this moving spot for the college, he relays that news to his mom's voicemail. Only, she passed away several years ago.
In the years following his mother's death in 2003, Fitzgerald revealed that he would call his childhood home in St. Paul, Minnesota, to hear her voice recorded on the answering machine. When creatives at agency 180 L.A. heard of this, they decided to make it the centerpiece of the campaign. Fitzgerald had promised his mom before her death that he would get his college degree, so in the film, he leaves a message for her letting her know. According to the agency, the message to his mom was unrehearsed and what's seen in the spot was the first, and only take filmed. John X Carey at Tool was the director.
The TV spot debuted during the season opener of the Arizona Cardinals game against the New England Patriots on NBC Sunday Night Football September 11. It'll be accompanied by five other social media films in which Fitzgerald pays tribute to other influential people whom he credits with helping him achieve his college education.