I don’t watch television as much as I used to, but I was keen enough to notice that William Shatner had disappeared completely from Priceline’s television ad campaign. After performing a bit of amateur sleuthing, I discovered that Shatner’s Priceline negotiator character had been killed off by the company in an advertisement seven months ago. Bizarre.
According to CNN, the new spot, which is currently available online at this very moment, will begin to hit television airwaves on Thursday. However, the ad does not address how exactly the negotiator survived the fiery bus crash that supposedly claimed his life. I guess some things are better left unexplained.
The spot finds Shatner standing on a beach, a surfboard by his side. An executive, who just so happens to be on the sand at the same time as our hero, says, “You’ve been busy for a dead man. After you jumped ship in Bangkok, I thought I’d lost you.” That’s all the explanation any of us really needs.
Following the death of the beloved negotiator, fans of the character told Priceline.com that they wanted him to return. After 94 percent of those polled stated they would love nothing more than to see Shatner reprise his role, it was painfully clear the company had made a serious mistake.
Although his contact runs through the beginning of next year, Shatner anticipates that it will be extended should the ad campaign prove successful. Given the response from numerous television viewers, I have no doubt that the negotiator’s return will be welcomed with open arms. Until his untimely demise in January, Shatner’s character had represented the company for over 14 years.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Shatner’s return might be just the thing the company needs to stay afloat. The Priceline’s stock dropped considerably after it was revealed its European arm wasn’t doing nearly the amount business that investors felt it should.
Did you miss William Shatner as the Priceline negotiator? If so, you can find the latest installment in the character’s campaign embedded below.