DieHard Scales New Heights With a Mini Doc About Climber Kirstie Ennis

Advance Auto Parts teams with creative agency TMA for 'The Climber'

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It’s amazing what human beings can accomplish in the face of adversity, and sometimes when the going gets tough, it just ignites a greater desire to succeed. World-famous climber Kirstie Ennis knows a thing or two about tapping into that “die-hard” spirit to push through.

With Ennis’ resilience at the forefront, Advance Auto Parts has launched a continuation of its “DieHards Choose DieHard” campaign with its new spot, “The Climber.” Created in partnership with creative agency TMA, this spot features Kirstie Ennis, a former Marine sergeant and current climber known for scaling six of the world’s tallest mountains.

The 60-second short was created with Natural Selection Productions and shows Ennis sharing her story while scaling a treacherous cliff. This single-day shoot took place in Lake Perris State Park in Riverside, Calif., and occurred in hopes of her eventual return to conquer Mount Everest after being forced to scale back on her previous attempt due to low oxygen.

“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,” said TMA chief creative officer Harris Wilkinson in a statement.

Never Say Die

“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,” said Ennis. “You’re damn right I’m a diehard.”

This follows Advance Auto Parts’ 2020 relaunch of the DieHard brand with its 2-minute film, “DieHard is Back,” which saw “Die Hard” film franchise star Bruce Willis appear for a jaunt through references to his best-known role. This, in turn, saw the launch of “DieHards Choose DieHard,” showing the similarities between the battery and people who just won’t quit, regardless of what hardship they encounter. 

“Kirstie is one of the most inspiring figures in society today. We’ve witnessed firsthand how Kirstie defines what it means to be a diehard,” said Jason McDonell, Advance’s evp of merchandising, marketing and ecommerce. “There is a strong correlation between her relentless drive and the hallmarks of our DieHard brand—reliability, durability, and specifically, power.”

This short will air in theaters ahead of films like “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” and “Creed 3,” as well as across Advance Auto Parts’ social media channels and YouTube.


DieHard “The Climber”

Client: Advance Auto Parts

EVP Merchandising, Marketing Ecommerce, Data Science – Jason McDonell

SVP Marketing & DIY Strategy – Allison Bubar

Director of Marketing – Katie Clark

Sr Marketing Manager – Regina Exum

Creative Director Corporate Brand Marketing – Heidi Flippen

Sr Marketing Manager – Carlos Monreal Orla

Agency: TMA

SVP Account Management – Lori Thelen

VP Account Management – Shyrl Bagneris

Account Supervisor – Stephanie Ibanez

Chief Creative Officer – Harris Wilkinson

SVP Creative – Leo Santos

Creative Director – Nick Cernoch

Creative Director – Mason Viera

Sr Producer – Matt Williams

Sr Manager Business Affairs – Kelly Lenthe


Production Company: Natural Selection

Directors: John Suits + Harris Wilkinson

Producer: Tim Kerigan

Director of Photography: Jeremiah Pitman

Drone Camera Operator:  Cooper Groves

Editor: John Suits

Sound Mix: Joe Barrucco @ Timeline Audio

Color: Matt Osborne @ Company 3

VFX: Joshua Lester

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