The ad shows Shatner's character helping people get off a bus that is teetering on the edge of a cliff. Since there is no time to negotiate, they must use Priceline's new services to book a room. Just as he gets everyone to safety, the bus falls to a fiery crash with the Negotiator still on board. The ad does a great job of showcasing their new service and its advantages. The Negotiator was designed to promote their unique name-your-own-price services, but now they want to highlight their fixed-price discounts. By killing off their spokesperson, Priceline is hoping to generate some buzz and get people talking about their newest offering.
Since Mr. Shatner is so closely associated with their bidding services, Priceline felt like they needed to take drastic measures to direct the customer's attention onto their new service. The fixed-price discounts are the fastest growing segment of their business and the “Negotiator” character doesn't apply. Making the decision to shift away from what has worked so well was most certainly a difficult one. Priceline understands what direction their business is heading and that holding onto the “Negotiator” for nostalgia will not get them where they want to be.
Their ability to make such a drastic decision that cleverly leverages their old campaign to send them in a new direction is why this is our Ad of the Month. Priceline is moving in a different direction with their new service and needed something crisp to regain customer attention. Their ad demonstrates the clear benefits of the new service in a fun and exciting way that encourages conversation.