TMA, Natural Selection Ascend With "The Climber" For Advance Auto Parts


Robert Goldrich
Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023


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Advance Auto Parts, in partnership with its creative agency, Dallas-based TMA, is debuting this companion ad to the “Diehards Choose DieHard” campaign. DieHard is part of Advance’s portfolio of owned brands, and was relaunched in 2020 with a two-minute action film starring Bruce Willis (famous for his role as John McClane in the movie Diehard).  The new advertising tells a real-life story about a hero who epitomizes what it means to be a diehard.  The commercial stars Kirstie Ennis, a former Marine sergeant, world-renowned climber and action-sports diehard who has overcome all odds to scale six of the world’s tallest mountains.  Titled “The Climber,” the :60 film is a mini-documentary that celebrates Ennis’ story, highlights her endless fighting spirit, and champions her return to conquer Mt. Everest--the “seventh summit.”  

Shot in a single day in Lake Perris State Park in Riverside, California with Natural Selection Productions, the shoot faced its own logistical challenges, including a harnessed DP dangling off the side of a cliff to film the climb.  TMA chief creative office Harris Wilkinson, who teamed with John Suits to direct “The Climber,” said, “Kirstie spent a very long day—and part of the night—climbing up and down that cliff, and never once stopped smiling.  She absolutely crushed it.”

To match the epic nature of the film, Advance Auto Parts plans to run this new advertising in movie theaters next month.  It will appear before such highly anticipated releases as Ant Man and the Wasp:  Quantumania, to be followed by Creed 3 in March.  It will also run online on YouTube, paid social media and Advance Auto Parts social media channels.  

Ennis said, “Advance has been part of my journey for several years, and I admire their dedication to supporting members of the military.  My hope is that this video inspires people to accomplish their goals, even when the path is full of obstacles and challenges.”


Client Advance Auto Parts Agency TMA Harris Wilkinson, chief creative officer; Leo Santos, SVP creative; Nick Cernoch, Mason Viera, creative directors; Matt Williams, sr. producer. Production Company Natural Selection John Suits, Harris Wilkinson, directors; Tim Kerigan, producer; Jeremiah Pitman, DP; Cooper Groves, drone camera operator. Editorial John Suits, editor. Audio Timeline Audio Joe Barrucco, mixer. Color Company 3 Matt Osborne, colorist. VFX Joshua Lester

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