Monday 23 November 2020
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The Marketing Arm Reprises Bruce Willis’s Famous Character to Promote DieHard Batteries for Advance Auto Parts

The Marketing Arm Reprises Bruce Willis’s Famous Character to Promote DieHard Batteries for Advance Auto Parts

The Marketing Arm enlisted Bruce Willis to reprise his famous  John McClane “Die Hard” role for their client, Advance Auto Parts. The company acquired the 53-year old battery brand from Sears last year for $200 million and is now spending big to reignite interest in the battery and draw consumers to its 5,000 stores.

Matt Williams, Senior Producer for The Marketing Arm stated, “Producing work at this scale during the pandemic was a significant challenge. And it was so much fun! We had an exceptional group of people that came together to make this, including Bruce Willis of course. Getting the original Die Hard cast back together generated magic. Even though COVID-19 precautions kept the actors largely separate from each other during the shoot, their natural camaraderie came through in a big way. The idea was always to make a film complete with the action and comedy beats which made the original Die Hard film so widely loved. Thanks to our client, we were able to stay true to this goal and make something we think is very special within the modern advertising space.”

BTS TMA (Agency Team)
Nick Cernoch; Harris Wilkinson (Creative Lead); Matt Williams (Production Lead)
Talent, crew

The ad was filmed like a Hollywood production and in the same style as the action film franchise that started in 1988. Willis’s character faces his old foe Theo, played by the original actor Clarence Gilyard Jr.  The storyline 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.

The two minute spot which debuted during Fox’s National Football League coverage, is akin to a costly Super Bowl production, complete with teasers and social tweets by Willis’s children, making it appear as though a new sequel was in the works. 

In a statement provided by the brand, Willis said: “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.”

The Marketing Arm

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