For 14 years, the ironically couched line readings and disproportionate swagger of William Shatner have conveyed how getting slightly cheaper travel deals on Priceline.com is just like being a super spy, or something. But starting Monday, that era is over: Shatner’s long tenure as Priceline’s spokesman—including five years as the Priceline Negotiator—will end violently, as Shatner begins appearing in an ad where his character rescues vacationers from a bus before plunging to his fiery death. The move reflects Priceline’s shift from focusing on its increasingly useless name-your-own-price model to being a not-as-unique fixed-price discount site, meaning the Negotiator no longer has anything to negotiate, really.
So in order get that message across, Priceline decided that the obvious recourse was to blow up William Shatner. “I’m in grief mode,” Shatner said of his impending doom, noting that it was “not the first time I've had an iconic character die off” in reference to both the death of Captain Kirk in Star Trek: Generations and that time T.J. Hooker leapt onto the hood of an 18-wheeler and then was diagnosed with leukemia. No word on whom Priceline plans to replace Shatner with in order to promote its far less interesting, “take the price we give you or screw” business plan, but maybe Harrison Ford is available.
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