Laughing all the Way to the Bank: Priceline Loves William Shatner (and We Do Too)

priceline negotiatorIn the history of the stock market, there has never been a company that has had its stock meet or exceed the $1,000 per share price point. Priceline.com, a company that offers discounted airfare, hotel rooms and rental cars by selling the surplus, is all set to become the first stock to do it.

NBC News reports that Priceline should break the $1,000 mark at some point within the next twelve months. In the 56-year history of the Standard & Poor’s 500, no company has ever done this before, not even at the height of the dotcom bubble. (Admittedly, much of this has to do with the fact that many companies elect to split their stock before the price gets that high.) Analysts contribute the price explosion to the return of beloved spokesman William Shatner.

The Priceline Negotiator

William Shatner, the 82-year old Canadian actor and prolific tweeter, rose to fame as Captain James Tiberius Kirk on Star Trek, although I feel that his best work can be viewed on the Emmy Award winning series Boston Legal. Shatner is also known for his Priceline.com spokes-character: Priceline Negotiator.

The Priceline Negotiator is, at least in my view, the greatest spokesman in the history of the world. Priceline seems to think so, too. Their stock price has soared 70% since bringing Shatner back (they had killed his character off in a previous commercial). The takeaway for businesses here is that your marketing strategy should be something flexible and fluid, that you can change depending on the feedback of your customers and your numbers. We all should check out our numbers (traffic, sales, etc) after a change in marketing strategy or major rebranding – Priceline did, and they decided to give the people what they want.

Shatner’s Popularity

For some people, Shatner’s popularity may seem like it came of nowhere. After all, he sort of disappeared (was beamed up?) after completing his tenure on Star Trek. Still, his immense popularity is no strange occurrence; Shatner has been active on social media for so long that even people who never watched Star Trek are big fans.

CNBC’s #TwitterRevolution, a documentary that aired last week, brought Shatner on to talk about why Twitter is his social media outlet of choice. For the actor, it all comes down to the fact that he can speak his mind and genuinely interact with fans without filters.

Whatever he is doing, it is working. And Priceline is reaping the rewards of their spokesman’s social media prowess.

Do you follow William Shatner on Twitter? What do you think of The Priceline Negotiator?

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Elizabeth

A teacher by trade, Elizabeth LaBelle graduated with honors from the University of Michigan in 2011. After specializing in Political Science and Francophone Studies with a minor in Korean, the only tangible skill she can show for it is the ability to write in all three languages. Elizabeth never thought she would get paid to write in any language – but after four years washing dishes in an industrial kitchen and a year selling office supplies door-to-door, nothing surprises her. When she’s not writing or teaching, Elizabeth coaches high school debate and forensics. Her hobbies include thoroughbred racing, competitive pool playing and hunting for the perfect Chicago apartment.

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