The University of Phoenix Shows A Compelling Story As Told To A Great-Granddaughter

The University of Phoenix has a spotty academic reputation. But damn, it can make a good commercial. A few months ago, UofP had a stop-motion animated spot depicting the struggles and triumphs of a single mother restarting her education…and it was a big hit. Another touching ad starred NFL star Larry Fitzgerald. Now, they have a compelling ad with an old lady talking to her newly born great-granddaughter. We see the elderly lady’s story of escaping the horrors of war as a young girl, emigrating to the United States, learning English, grinding, working, and persevering…until she’s become a success. Wow. Excellent work.

University of Phoenix: Larry Fitzgerald Fulfills A Promise To His Late Mother And Gets His College Degree

For-profit higher education is in huge trouble in the United States. Just a few weeks ago, one of the most visible for-profit colleges, ITT Tech, closed its doors for good. The University of Phoenix is still going, but its enrollment has dropped about 75% from its peak….from 600,000 to just over 150,000. So while the University of Phoenix and other for-profits might offer questionable educational value, they have the power of advertising with them, as evidenced by this poignant commercial starring Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Larry entered the NFL Draft after his sophomore season at the University of Pittsburgh. His mother died during his freshmen year, and she urged him to get his college degree. The commercial is a real tearjerker…Fitzie calls the house just to hear her voice, and proceeds to leave a message telling her that he’s now a college graduate and thanks her for all the guidance she gave him and his brother. Oh man. As my friend said when this ad came on, “I just want to give him a hug.” I first saw this commercial during last week’s Sunday Night Football game between the Cardinals and Patriots, which was strangely enough played at University of Phoenix Stadium.

The University of Phoenix Says Success Takes More Than Brains

So the song, performed by Roarke and based on The Wizard of Oz‘s “If I Only Had a Brain“, is pretty annoying (though check out some of her other stuff, it’s solid). And the University of Phoenix has a quite a spotty reputation. But I dunno, there’s something nice about this commercial showing UofP students grinding at their schoolwork to try to make a better life for themselves and their families. We can debate the last student shooing away the security guard at library closing time. Should we applaud her dedication or denounce her disregard of the poor security guard? You know, he’s probably got a family too.

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