He's dead, Jim: William Shatner's Priceline Negotiator
It is a dramatic end to William Shatner’s 14-year run as Priceline's spokesman. It's a new 30-second TV commercial for the travel site, which has already been posted online (see it embedded below) but not set to begin airing until Monday. In it, Shatner, playing his age-old Priceline Negotiator, rescues a group of panicked vacationers who are in a bus that is teetering on the edge of a bridge's railing.
The vacationers file out of the bus as Shatner tells them how Priceline can help them. His final words are "Save yourselves --- some money." Then, he hands his cell phone to a passenger (so that they can call Priceline's 800 number, naturally), as he and the bus tumble into the dry creek bed below. The bus --- and presumably, the Priceline Negotiator --- end up in a fiery demise.
Then, the passenger who was given Shatner's cell phone books a deal on Priceline, saying "It's what he would have wanted."
William Shater is "... in grief mode," as he told AP on Wednesday. "It's not the first time I've had an iconic character die off."
During his 14 years as a Priceline spokesman, Shatner spent five portraying the Priceline Negotiator. Christopher Soder, CEO of Priceline.com North America said after 14 years it was time for a change, while not dissing Shatner at all. He said,
"The challenge is harder to get people's attention than it used to be. So we decided to do something really over the top to get the message across." Not only will this new spot be featured on Priceline's website as well as on television (and it is already on YouTube) it might, Soder hinted, be part of next month's Super Bowl commercial blitz by Priceline.