After 14 years as Priceline’s spokesperson, William Shatner — famous for his role as Star Trek’s Captain Kirk — is being sent off not with a whimper but with a bang.
In a fate similar to that of Captain Kirk, Shatner’s bizarrely loveable ‘Negotiator’ will die in the line of duty, saving a busload of tourists whose vacation vehicle is about to fall off a bridge. The 30-second spot shows Shatner’s final moments, handing a vacationer his phone with the instruction “Save yourselves… some money”, before the Priceline execs essentially push him (and the bus) off a cliff. To avoid any ambiguity, the tour bus then explodes.
“I’m in grief mode,” the 80 year old actor told AP Wednesday. “It’s not the first time I’ve had an iconic character die off.”
The death of the Negotiator is not a result of Shatner’s skill, but perhaps a result of his effectiveness as a spokesman. Priceline is shifting from its original negotiation feature to a fixed price model, and Christopher Soder, CEO of Priceline.com North America, told AP that they had to do something big and drastic to make viewers notice the change.
Priceline offers deals for over 200,000 hotels in 14 countries.
The ad is set to premier on television Monday night, but it has already been posted on Priceline’s Facebook. Priceline has also hinted that the spot might make an appearance during the Super Bowl, which might be a little extreme for Shatner fans.
Live long and prosper.