William Shatner’s recognizable voice won’t be seen coming out of his recognizable face in a new series of ads from Priceline.com as the online travel site revamps its strategy, user experience and ad campaign with an eye toward faster, mobile bookings.
Shatner, who for years has appeared as The Negotiator bent on finding you the best deal for your big trip, now serves as the narrator in the spots dubbed “Whatever’s On the Line, Priceline. Priceline says in a news release that “Today’s modern traveler takes shorter and more frequent trips, and the company’s new strategy will help customers connect with deals faster and more easily than before.”
The ads play off the hook that with every trip, something is on the line. In one spot, a woman uses Priceline to get a great deal on a hotel so that she can attend a wedding in New Mexico. Good thing she did, the ad shows us, or she may have ended up hooking up with her cousin later on.
In another ad, a couple adopting a “baby” in Eastern Europe books a trip to meet the baby first. If they didn’t go? “That would have been bad” …
Priceline also announced that it will be using Facebook in bigger and better ways, leveraging “Facebook’s unique ability to target life moments with its mobile audience.” According to a release, “custom video content will connect with users through a series of personalized pieces as they learn of their friends’ life moments from status changes and daily updates.”
A collection of 30 or so “Breaking News” spoofs report on a variety of missed travel opportunities, ranging from “Woman Skips Mother’s Birthday, Taken On Guilt Trip Instead” to “Study Finds Kids Who Don’t Travel Likely to Live At Home Until Thirties.”
“We took a hard look at today’s behavioral trends and they reveal travel’s core truth: travelers take more trips to visit family in places like Rome, Georgia than trips of a lifetime to places like Rome, Italy,” said Paul Hennessy, Priceline CEO. “A drastically improved product initiative and an expansive increase in available properties, followed by a complete site and app refresh, has put our hotel, rental car and air partners’ content in the spotlight so that no matter what kind of trip you need to take, we’ve put it on the line for you.”
The new advertising campaign, created by BBDO New York, will debut during the pre-game show at Super Bowl 50 on Sunday.