NEW YORK William Shatner appears to be done in by his Star Trek comrade Leonard Nimoy in a new 30-second spot for Priceline.com from Gotham.
The spot opens with Shatner, the longtime voice of Priceline, talking to actors portraying company executives, who break the news that it's time to let him go. Shatner protests, asking, "Who could possibly replace me?" Nimoy then enters the office, saying, "Hey guys, hey Bill." Shatner says, "Hey" back, but then realizes, in a freeze-frame, who will be taking his place.
The apparent change in pitchmen is used to highlight a change in Priceline's offering. Consumers now can pick their own flights, times and airlines in addition to searching by price alone, said Brett Keller, chief marketing officer at the Norwalk, Conn., company.
The client spent nearly $25 million on ads through October 2003, per TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.
The spot, which will be posted on Priceline.com on Friday and break nationwide on Monday, was directed by Warren Kushner, who also has worked on ads for Mini Cooper and Nike, said Lynn Giordano, chief creative officer at Interpublic Group's Gotham in New York. "He has a wonderful sense of reality and the moment that played to what we were going for," Giordano explained. The copywriter and group creative director was Michael Jordan, and the art director, Sean Dougherty.
The spot suggests that the Shatner-Nimoy story line will continue, but Giordano declined to reveal future plans, saying, "It's part of the fun making you guess, isn't it?"