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180LA Launches Integrated Marketing Campaign for University of Phoenix

Posted January 6, 2017

Interactive creative agency, 180LA has launched a motivational campaign today for University of Phoenix that features alum and PhD candidate Carlos Ramirez playing himself, and highlights the life-changing drive and determination of its students and alumni.

The ad, which is a part of the #WeRise brand platform, tells the moving story of a young Carlos (played by an actor in early days), who came to the U.S. from Mexico with his parents and siblings, seeking a better life – and working hard to build one.

The TV spot strategically uses the sounds and visual memories from Carlos’ past to his present to show his struggles and determination: the sound of a beeping microwave transforms to a heart monitor; a tire pump becomes a nebulizer; a pen tapping while studying turns into footsteps down a hospital hallway; and the clanging of a farm pushcart becomes a patient’s gurney. The visual elements mirror Carlos’ difficult life, while highlighting the possibilities at hand when people combine passion and hard work with opportunity.

“Carlos is just one of many incredible stories of University of Phoenix students that shows how adversity made them stronger,” said Joan Blackwood, Chief Marketing Officer at University of Phoenix, in a press release. . “Our students overcome obstacles and are willing to put in the hard work required to complete their education, often while raising a family or working a full-time job.”

“When you listen to the trials of Carlos, you find amazing stories of determination,” explained Eduardo Marques, Executive Creative Director at 180LA. “He is one example of University of Phoenix students rising.”

“We do not have a multi-cultural strategy that puts our target audience into buckets but instead we aim to tell the authentic stories of the student population, some of whom happen to be Hispanic or African American,”  added Rafael Rizuto, Executive Creative Director at 180LA. “There is nothing contrived in the way we select the alumni we showcase. They are simply a natural representation of University of Phoenix’s student body.”

The campaign is spearheaded by TV and includes a series of online videos that tell the deeper story of Carlos’ experience at University of Phoenix. The spot will run on major TV networks including ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and will air during the Grammy’s.