Star Trek captain goes out in a blaze of glory - still selling hotel rooms
Once he was Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise. But for the past 14 years he has been known as the Priceline negotiator on TV ads. Now 80-year-old William Shatner has gone out in a blaze of glory - literally.
In his last commercial, he helps scared passengers off a bus teetering on the edge of a ravine - making sure they know how to get hotel rooms at the last minute - then stays on the bus as it crashes into a ravine and bursts into flames.
Priceline had already decided to jettison the character - but in keeping with the character's oversized personality, says Adweek, they decided he should go out with a bang . And he does.
In this final spot seen here , called "Priceline Negotiator's LastDeal," Shatner is stuck reassuring passengers as the bus threatens to plunge into the ravine.
"Maybe this vacation wasn't a good idea," says a worried mum. "Vacations are always a good idea! "Shatner says as he begins helping the passengers off the bus. He suggests they get a hotel. The mum replies that they don't have time to bid through Priceline, but he explains that you don't have to bid—that Priceline has published prices on the site, too.
With everyone safely off the bus, Shatner stays on. He hands a smartphone to the mum, open at the Priceline page, and dramatically says: "Save yourself! … some money."
The bus then drops into the ravine and explodes..
"It is probably probably the most spectacular sign-off in the history of advertising characters.," says Adweek.
Priceline spokesman Brian Ek said the company wanted to emphasise the published-rate model for their rooms , even though the "Name your own price" option remains.
Ad agency Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners, who created the Negotiator character—"suggested we do something over the top with the 2012 campaign to grab people's attention and make sure nobody misses the message," said Eljk. The Drum thinks they have done that.
Next up: More spots featuring interviews with the "survivors" of the bus tragedy.