When DieHard batteries, one of the most iconic brands in automotive history, landed on the shelves of Carquest Auto Parts recently, the automotive aftermarket parts retailer promised motorists a blockbuster. On Sunday, DieHard delivered big time. For the first time, Carquest and its parent company Advance Auto Parts, Inc. (NYSE: AAP), 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 network’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 Carquest and Advance’s integrated #DieHardIsBack marketing campaign that kicks off during October’s National Car Safety Month. Following the film’s debut, the spot will be incorporated into Carquest’s social media on Facebook and Instagram – in both English and French – in Canada and the U.S., as well as digitally on YouTube to drive views of the full-length version on Advance’s YouTube page – YouTube.com/AdvanceAutoParts. 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 – are at Carquest stores,” McDonell said.
The DieHard brand was sold to Advance Auto Parts late last year.