Auto Zone’s new commercial is presented as a film, albeit just a two minute one, called “DieHard is Back.” It’s set to draw the attention of all who remember the movies featuring Bruce Willis as John McClane.
The description on the YouTube video is:
“A new chapter in the DieHard story begins. Watch as John McClane faces off against old foes and crosses paths with old friends. From fighting his way to Advance Auto Parts to racing against the clock to install his new DieHard Battery – McClane will stop at nothing, to start his car again. “
As Variety observed: the commercial is packed with “easter eggs from the franchise, including an appearance from McClane’s limousine driver, Argyle, and a scene in which McClane bashes an enemy over the head with his own brand of car battery.”
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It also plays on taglines, ending with Argyle calling out, “Yippee ki yay.” “Hey, that’s my line!” insists McClane.
The target audience would appear to be those of a certain age who are old enough to have seen the movies in theaters when they first came out and so appeals to nostalgia. But it also follows the formula for successful ad content for today’s generations: Don’t Make Ads: Make Engaging Entertainment.
It certainly succeeded in driving engagement. The teasers for the film were put out to promote it just like a full-length feature, and that got thousands of likes and mentions on Twitter.
Capitalizing on the name connection seems so obvious now; one wonders why it wasn’t done earlier. Like so many other times we’ve seen something and then wondered how it wasn’t done before. Either way, it’s great marketing we can all take example from.
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