John McClane is back. So is Argyle. And so is … Theo?
In the age of advertisements as vehicles for nostalgic throwbacks (E.T., Ferris Bueller, Groundhog Day), the latest Advance Auto Parts long-lasting car battery commercial with Bruce Willis reprising his iconic “Die Hard” action hero John McClane just might be the best to date.
The two-minute ad for DieHard (the actual name of the battery), begins with hard-boiled Detective John McClane lamenting to himself as he unsuccessfully attempts to power up his car near a construction site. “Well, you wanted the quiet life, John,” he says to himself. “Dead batteries. Empty streets.”
As John McClane walks those empty streets approaching the Advance Auto Parts shop, he suddenly notices a familiar face eyeing him through a diner window: former Hans-Gruber-lackey-turned-terrorist-mastermind Theo (still played by Clarence Gilyard Jr.). And before you can say “Yippee-Ki-Yay,” John McClane is off to the races in yet another “Die Hard” adventure. Along for the ride, of course, is a familiar face: smooth-talking, fast-punching limo driver Argyle (once again played by De’voreaux White). Take a look:
In a press release, Bruce Willis said that Advance Auto Parts convinced him to do the commercial by blending the two brands together rather seamlessly.
“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. “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.”
As noted by obtained by Fox Business, the DieHard battery brand “could use a jump start from Willis and the franchise as the stock is down more than 3% year to date.”
“Back in December, Sears sold the DieHard car battery brand to Advance Auto Parts for $200 million,” reported the outlet. “Sears will still be able to sell DieHard goods in its stores. And it will still be able to create products for the brand as long as they are not auto-related, like the DieHard boots it currently sells. Advance Auto Parts said it will sell DieHard auto batteries in its more than 4,800 stores and plans to expand it into batteries for other types of vehicles.”
With Christmas being just two months away, the debate over whether or not “Die Hard” is a Christmas movie has yet to resume. Despite Bruce Willis’ insistence that it’s not, a poll from The Hollywood Reporter last year showed that a majority of audiences — 86% to 14% consider it a Christmas movie and regularly feature it in their holiday programming.
Released in the summer of 1988, “Die Hard” grossed $139 million worldwide and solidified Bruce Willis as a bankable action star. The movie earned its place in cinematic history by launching what quickly became known as the “Terrorist-In-A-Something” action movie, a popular staple in the 1990s. “Under Siege,” “Passenger 57,” “Executive Decision,” “Air Force One,” and so many others followed this trend.