Bruce Willis Revives John McClane in 2-Minute Ad for DieHard Batteries

The Marketing Arm crafts Advance Auto Parts spot

It's not quite Christmas time yet, but we're getting a good dose of Die Hard a little early this year—as Bruce Willis is resurrecting his famous John McClane character in a commercial for the first time.

The two-minute film, created by The Marketing Arm, is for DieHard batteries (the tie-in to the movie is obviously not much of a stretch) and for Advance Auto Parts, which is now carrying the product. It features Willis as well as two other actors from the 1988 film—Clarence Gilyard Jr., reprising his role as the villain Theo, and De'voreaux White, who plays limo driver Argyle.

There's a lot of drama, and impressive explosions, and yeah, the "Yippee Ki Yay" line makes a cameo as well.


John Suits directed the work through production company Natural Selection. The work premiered Sunday during the Green Bay-Tampa Bay NFL game on Fox.

"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," Willis said in a statement. "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 DieHard brand is known for its reliability, durability and power—qualities of John McClane in the Die Hard films," added Jason McDonell, CMO art Advance Auto Parts. "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 'Yippee Ki Yay' moments that are memorable and celebratory at the same time."


“DieHard is Back”

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: Chris Lee 
Strategist: Stephen Bellinger

Vice President, Production: Diana Schroeder
Sr. Producer: Matt Williams

Executive Producers: Amanda Mortimer, Nicole Flores
Director: John Suits

Director of Photography: Will Stone
Production Designer: David Dean Ebert
Costume Designer: Anthony Tran
Casting: Bobby Stephenson - 5th Street Studios
Make Up: Hugo Villasenor
Hair: D'nelle Almanza
Editors: John Suits, Adam Grabarnick
VFX: VFX Producer: David Brown; VFX Supervisor: Matt Von Brock - Ghost VFX 
Graphics: Howard Shur, Rik Michul, Adam Petke - Flawless Post

VO: Ashton Smith (KMR Talent)



Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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