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Priceline resurrects its negotiator

William Shatner's "Priceline Negotiator" character has returned to the airwaves after several months hiatus, when his character was "killed" off.
William Shatner's "Priceline Negotiator" character has returned to the airwaves after several months hiatus, when his character was "killed" off.

Back in the 1960s, the sci-fi show Star Trek grew in popularity, led by William Shatner. His character Captain James T. Kirk was notorious for miraculously escaping from the clutches of death on multiple occasions.

More recently, Shatner has been the frontman for Priceline, serving as the "Priceline Negotiator," informing customers about the best deals during their travels. However, last January, the negotiator was "killed" off in a commercial, causing a slight uproar with customers. According to an LA Times article, 94 percent of Priceline customers told the company in an online survey that they wanted to see their beloved character return.

This week, channeling the likes of Captain Kirk, Shatner reprised his role, defying death once again. The new commercial shows the actor on a beach in a suit, holding a surfboard. An executive approaches him and says, "You've been busy for a dead man. After you jumped ship in Bangkok, I thought I'd lost you."

In response, Shatner says, "Surfing is my life now." He then launches into his typical monologue of Priceline deals and how customers can save money. The executive replies that he "still has it" to which the death-defying negotiator says, "I'll always have it."

David Vinjamuri wrote in a Forbes contribution piece – prior to the negotiator's return – that the scenario reminded him of one that happened to Coca Cola and the soft drink company's failed attempt to release the New Coke. Customers were vehemently against the change, and weren't afraid to voice their opinions. Subsequently Coca Cola retracted the product and reintroduced the original formula as Classic Coke.

Sometimes, companies or organizations will initiate an advertising campaign that flops or release new products that quickly become unpopular. In order to ensure a complete turnaround from such negative events, it's wise to keep an up to date business continuity plan in place, and have all employees aware of its proceedings.