campaign features William Shatner

17th Jan 2007 and William Shatner will celebrate almost
a decade of collaboration with the official launch of a groundbreaking
new advertising campaign.In 1997, first contacted Mr. Shatner about
representing its new and then-unproven Name Your Own Price travel
service. “We were looking for a figure who was trustworthy, known for
having futuristic ideas, and instantly identifiable across multiple
generations,” said’s Chief Marketing Officer Brett
Keller. “Bill met those criteria. The match was so successful that we
believe our partnership is one of the longest-running
company/celebrity relationships in advertising history.”

  The relationship has certainly been a winning one for all
involved. introduced its first ad campaign in April 1998
and, by year end, was one of the best-known brands in
the online space. quickly became a leading online travel
service, with gross bookings growing from $40 million in 1998 to over
$3 billion in 2006.

  While’s gross bookings continued to grow, so did the
savings for its customers. To date, customers have saved
over $6 billion on their travel purchases. Recently,
expanded to Europe, where it operates one of the leading online hotel
reservation services in 40 countries in 12 languages and offers its
customers in Europe and the U.S. access to approximately 25,000
participating European hotels.

  The campaigns provided Mr. Shatner with a forum to
showcase his comedic talents.’s Troubadour campaign,
featuring a singing William Shatner, was so popular that it was
spoofed by Jay Leno, parodied on Saturday Night Live, lampooned in MAD
Magazine, and even featured as a question on Jeopardy and Who Wants To
Be A Millionaire. “Those references were high tribute, because they
clearly demonstrated that we had cut through with the brand message
and embedded it into pop culture,” said Mr. Shatner.

  “Most celebrity spokesperson campaigns are short-lived, either
because the celebrity has lost audience appeal or the ad treatment has
gotten stale,” said Mike Shine, Co-Creative Director of Butler, Shine,
Stern Partners (BSSP),’s advertising agency. “Neither
has occurred here. Bill’s popularity is growing and
continues to find fresh ways to present its message.”


  The Negotiator campaign represents another groundbreaking step for In past campaigns, Mr. Shatner has appeared as himself
in a supporting role to the brand. In the new campaign,
he plays the role of’s tough chief negotiating officer,
taking viewers behind the scenes to see the unique ways in which negotiates the best possible deals on behalf of its
customers and going to extremes to help customers find the deals that
are right for them. His commitment is reflected in the campaign’s
tagline - No One Deals Like We Do. “As the relentless and effective
Priceline Negotiator, Bill embodies everything we do at
to find our customers the best possible travel deals and provide them
with more ways to save than any other major online travel service,”
said Keller.

  “We took our inspiration for The Priceline Negotiator character
and the stylistic elements of the campaign from the classic spy genre
of the 1960s - films like the original Bond movies and Our Man Flint,
and TV shows like The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” said Shine. “The
Negotiator is cool, in-control and obviously well-traveled, but
willing to go to any length to get a fellow traveler a great deal.”

  Each spot opens with a frantic telephone call to The Negotiator in
his secret lair. A consumer needs him to intervene and secure a great
travel deal. Of course, The Negotiator can’t refuse. With an arsenal
of tricks, tools and charm, The Negotiator speeds to the scene and
nails down the deal. “The campaign presents’s core brand
assets in a breakthrough, culturally relevant way that will extend
beyond traditional advertising to foster a deeper level of engagement
with consumers,” said Cort Cunningham,’s Director of
Advertising, Brand Development.



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