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February 19, 2016

The advertisement titled “More Than Brains” is among a set released by the University of Phoenix this week. (Screengrab/University of Phoenix)


In an attempt to burnish its brand, the University of Phoenix released a new set of TV ads this week. The marketing campaign comes days after private investors purchased the for-profit giant for a cool $1 billion.

The University of Phoenix finds itself under increased scrutiny in Massachusetts and other states for misleading students about graduation and job-placement rates.

The new advertisements, released this week, are sleek and catchy. One ad, titled “More Than Brains,” depicts the lives of adult learners, who have to juggle responsibilities outside of school, including children and full-time jobs. During the ad Wizard of Oz anthem “If I Only Had A Brain” plays in the background.

But marketing experts say although these ads are well-crafted, the University of Phoenix should focus on more than just branding to restore its image.

“I think the ads are beautiful. Will they be matched by operations changes that also make this new reality that they're trying to promote in the advertising campaign an actual reality on the ground that they can actually back up?” said Pat Riley of Triad Advertising Companies based in Canton, Massachusetts.

Representatives from the University of Phoenix say battling "misperceptions" is just one element of the campaign.

Watch the new ad:

confronting cost, new business models, increasing access and success

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