Online and mobile travel network Priceline.com is running its first national brand awareness campaign in Canada to capitalize on its growing mobile-loving customer base north of the border. With Canadian-born iconic actor William Shatner as its longtime spokesperson, it hopes the campaign, which debuts the first week of September, won’t be a big leap.
Including both TV and digital components, the campaign’s core 30-second clip will feature Shatner in the 14th year of his role as the “Negotiator,” going to extreme lengths to bring savings to travellers, among them scaling buildings, donning disguises and fending off karate chops. While the character has been known to Canadians who have seen U.S. commercials, this ad will properly introduce him to this audience, said Brett Keller, CMO of Priceline.com.
The firm worked with Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners (BSS+P) to produce the creative and with Ocean Media to manage its media spend. It will run in more than 25 Canadian markets, including TV networks HGTV, BBC, Discovery, E!, and Bravo.
“Based on what we know in the Canadian market from our research, we customized the campaign, including taking a multi-product approach highlighting savings on hotels, airfare and rental cars,” said Keller.
The company has seen a spike in Canadian users over the past two years. That, combined with the recent added feature allowing customers to pay in foreign currencies, led to the decision to produce a unique Canadian spot.
“Over the last year, Priceline.com has added a significant number of new hotels to our program, and with that, a Canadian currency display for our core product offerings, both on desktop and via mobile devices,” said Keller. “We felt that the timing was right to turn up our brand presence in Canada and to share these new features with consumers.”
Priceline’s growing Canadian base is made up in large part by consumers who use the firm’s app to search for deals, including its Express Deals booking feature that gives customers up to 60% off published prices.
“The Priceline.com brand is grounded in the notion of deep savings, and as a pioneer in mobile travel, we’re eager to further connect Canadian travelers to the breadth of our offerings through a customized marketing campaign.”