Advance Auto Parts Partners with Bruce Willis to Bring Back ‘Die Hard’ in TMA Crafted Spot

October 19, 2020

When DieHard® batteries, one of the most iconic brands in automotive history, landed on the shelves of Advance Auto Parts, Inc. recently, the automotive aftermarket parts retailer promised motorists a blockbuster. On Sunday, DieHard delivered big time. For the first time, Advance Auto Parts brought together DieHard the battery and “Die Hard” the motion picture in a 2-minute film in which Hollywood legend Bruce Willis reprises his role of Detective John McClane.

The spot, which debuted during FOX’s “America’s Game of the Week” telecast of Green Bay vs. Tampa Bay, continues the storylines of McClane and two other characters from the original 1988 “Die Hard” film: villain Theo, reprised by Clarence Gilyard Jr., and limo driver Argyle, played by De’voreaux White.

“I’ve never done any sort of commercial with the John McClane character, but Advance Auto Parts brought an idea to integrate DieHard the battery into the ‘Die Hard’ story through a short film that’s authentic to McClane and both brands,” said Willis. “Advance approached this like a motion picture – the script is clever, the production intense and the spot is entertaining. This is what ‘Die Hard’ fans expect. I think they will dig the ‘DieHard’-Die Hard mashup.”

The new film begins with McClane and a dead car battery. Before he can make it to Advance Auto Parts, McClane crosses paths with old foe Theo and his crew. After a narrow escape and a chance meeting with limo driver Argyle, the action accelerates. From bad guy takedowns to a giant earth mover chase and, of course, a massive explosion, the film merges the worlds of the action classic “Die Hard” and the battery, showing viewers that McClane and DieHard are equally reliable, durable and powerful.

“I always have a lot of fun playing John McClane and I really enjoyed how Advance Auto Parts brought in De’voreaux and Clarence from the original film,” Willis added. “I give Advance a lot of credit for digging into the film to cleverly insert DieHard the battery and giving fans a new, entertaining storyline.”

Jason McDonell, Advance Auto Parts Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, said there’s a natural tie-in between DieHard batteries and John McClane.

“The DieHard brand is known for its reliability, durability and power – qualities of John McClane in the ‘Die Hard’ films,” said McDonell. “The opportunity to bring the two together in a creative and bold way to inform, entertain and mobilize motorists was irresistible. Our approach to this project was to go beyond products and price points and focus on finding a powerful message and platform to differentiate the brand. We’ll continue looking for those ‘Yippie Ki Yay’ moments that are memorable and celebratory at the same time.”

The film is part of Advance’s integrated #DieHardIsBack marketing campaign that kicks off during October’s National Car Care Month. Following the film’s national debut, Advance will air 30- and 15-second versions of the spot – in both English and Spanish – nationally and in key local markets. The spot will be incorporated into the company’s social media on Facebook and Instagram in the U.S. and Canada, as well as digitally on YouTube in the U.S. to drive views of the full-length version on Advance’s YouTube page – There also is a significant in-store element to the campaign. The film and campaign was created by The Marketing Arm, a Dallas-based creative agency partner for Advance Auto Parts.

“Cold weather is coming. We know motorists will begin to encounter battery failure. We want them to know that the only automotive aftermarket stores where they can get the most reliable, durable and powerful battery – DieHard – is at Advance Auto Parts and Carquest stores,” McDonell said.

For more, check out these articles about the film and campaign:

Adweek: How DieHard Pulled Off That Die Hard Ad Starring Bruce Willis

AdAge: Yippee Ki … Ad? Bruce Willis Reprises Iconic Film Role to Plug DieHard Batteries

Adweek: Bruce Willis Is Back in a New Die Hard… Battery Ad

Complex: Bruce Willis Revives ‘Die Hard’ Character to Hawk Car Batteries

Muse by Clio: Bruce Willis Revives John McClane in 2-Minute Ad for DieHard Batteries

THR: Bruce Willis Reprises John McClane Role in Epic DieHard Battery Commercial

Variety: Bruce Willis Stars in Commercial for ‘Die Hard’ Car Batteries

Marketing Dive: Bruce Willis reprises ‘Die Hard’ role in Advance Auto Parts ads pushing DieHard batteries

“DieHard is Back” Credits

CLIENT:  Advance Auto Parts – DieHard Batteries

CEO: Tom Greco

EVP & CMO: Jason McDonell

SVP & General Manager, Diehard: Allison Bubar

VP, Marketing: Wendy Blume

Director, Public Relations: Darryl Carr

Sr. Marketing Manager, Marketing: Regina Exum

Sr. Creative Manager, Marketing: Heidi Flippen

CREATIVE AGENCY:  The Marketing Arm

CEO: Andrew Robinson

President: Trina Roffino

EVP, Creative: Will Clarke

SVP, Creative: Leo Santos

SVP, Creative: Harris Wilkinson

Sr. Creative Director/Art Director: Rob Neatherlin

Sr. Director, Concepting: Stu Hill

Associate Director, Concepting/Copywriter: Nick Cernoch

Creative Director: Steve Hinckle

Associate Creative Director: Shelly Williams

Sr. Art Director: Ida Brown

Sr. Copywriter: David Fox

Art Director: Zach Phillips

SVP, Account: Lori Thelen

Director, Account: Shyrl Bagneris

Sr. Account Executive, Account: Stephanie Ibanez

EVP, Strategy: Kathleen Colditz

VP, Strategy: Elena Petukhova

VP, Strategy: Chris Lee

Strategist: Stephen Bellinger

Vice President, Production: Diana Schroeder

Sr. Producer: Matt Williams

VP, Celebrity & Influencer: Matt Fleming