This Poignant Story of a Struggling Single Mom Brings Rosie the Riveter to the Digital Age

Campaign From180 L.A. and University of Phoenix Promotes the School's Tech Curriculum

Published On
May 22, 2017

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Rosie the Riveter is an enduring icon of women making it in the workplace, a symbol of their influence on American industry and business since World War II. Now, an upliftng animated tale from University of Phoenix introduces a modern-day Rosie, one equipped for the digital age.

The new film from 180 L.A. and directed by Dan Abdo and Jason Patterson of Hornet tells the story of a struggling single mother. She toils away keeping her children happy at home while working nine to five at a factory. Eventually, A.I. and automation enter her workplace and her boss comes along to give her notice. During a moment of despair, she perks up after getting a hug from her son and glancing at the "Rosie the Riveter" poster in her kitchen, with its famous "We can do it!" slogan.

The woman then applies to University of Phoenix, studies hard and gets a degree in information tech. The story hits a new chapter as the woman sits at a computer in an office, where it looks as if she's about to dig into some serious code. Her desk also becomes the new home to her Rosie poster, the line of which she revises to read "IT" instead of it.

A cover of The Cranberries' tune "Dream" offers a poignant backdrop to her trials: "Oh my life is changing every day, in every possible way I want more impossible to ignore."

"This universally relatable film is meant to create an emotional connection with people in similar situations, change perceptions, and motivate both personal and professional growth," said Sandy Song, 180 L.A. group brand director in a statement. "We felt Rosie was the ideal face for the campaign since she has inspired many women as a cultural icon since World War II. A good reminder that we all need to continually adapt to change."

The 60-second ad will debut tonight during NBC's "The Voice" finale, will air on other broadcast and cable networks and will also appear in digital channels. The campaign will roll out over four months and will also include social films featuring students' real-life stories of reinvention as well as radio, digital and social elements.

The University of Phoenix is just the latest example of moving animated efforts from the agency, which was also behind the Cannes Lions Grand Prix for Good-winning campaign "Unfairy Tales," for UNICEF.