Shatner Negotiates a Role as First Online College Commencement Speaker

Priceline half mocks, half celebrates e-learning

Red alert! William Shatner is back as Priceline's Negotiator, delivering the first "online commencement speech for online universities" in this spot from Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners.

"Your diploma isn't just some PDF that you print out and frame," Shatner says, sporting a tasseled cap and hamming it up in his signature style for nearly two minutes. "I know that we've set the bar very high by saving travelers dolla dolla bills on, but I am confident that you can join me in the World Wide Web's Hall of Fame."

The ad was directed by agency creative director Steve Mapp, who tells AdFreak the spot had the perfect setup for Shatner: "The Priceline Negotiator epitomizes Internet greatness, so giving an online commencement speech to celebrate others achieving it was a no brainer, not to mention timely for graduation season. It's always best to go in with a lot of stuff for Shatner to riff off of and make his own. And sometimes its good to throw in lines that are unexpected, like 'dolla dolla bills.'"

There's also a brief Star Trek reference which, Mapp quips, "pays homage to Shatner's second most famous role."

Sure, it's just more of Bill's predictably silly schtick. But that's why he'll always be my captain. I'll never tire of watching him boldly go where he's gone before.

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