The internet was sent into a frenzy when several verified accounts began tweeting #DieHardIsBack with a 15-second teaser clip and juicy tagline – “As one story ends, a new one begins – 10.18.20.” The widespread assumption was that Bruce Willis had indeed returned as world-saving detective John McClane for a sixth Die Hard film. The revelation soon after, however, was that Bruce Willis had only returned as world-saving detective John McClane… for a Die Hard-themed commercial peddling car batteries.
The two-minute ad spot sees a 65-year-old Willis as John McClane stroll into an empty street after his car fails to start, approaching an Advanced Auto Parts retail front. That is until an entire gang of menacing-looking blokes pull up in hummers to give him the business. Cut to McClane being thrown through the front window, shattering glass, before diving headfirst into a series of classic Die Hard references:
- crawling through an air vent
- reuniting with chauffeur Argyle (portrayed by De’voreaux White)
- the odd yippee-ki-yay
- kicking ass with the signature mix of reluctance, irreverence, and grizzled stoicism
Depending on who you ask, this is either a tongue-in-cheek bit of fun or an eye roll-inducing nostalgia grab – maybe even somewhere in the middle. Wherever you land, it certainly qualifies as good viral marketing. Because as we all know, nostalgia hype always plays well.