Superbowl Commercial 2012

The “Priceline – Negotiator’s Last Deal” commercial, was the first ad that the group picked in relation to interactive media. is an interactive website which allows users to input data and get corresponding results for flights, hotels, cruises, etc. Whats more, it also contains customer reviews which enable interactions between various consumers.

The commercial features a bus hanging on a bridge, about to fall off the cliff. The negotiator comes up and urges distressed passengers to get off the bus and book hotels through Priceline right away since they were close to their destinations. After everyone gets off the bus, the negotiator hands over a phone with the Priceline site opened and says, “Save yourself……some money”. The negotiator ultimately goes down with the bus.

The target market for this commercial are people who need to book hotel rooms in the near future, even in a couple of hours; (Since the negotiator says, “You are miles away from your destination.”)and fans of William Shatner.

Manish thought the commercial was funny, since he recognized the negotiator, Captain Kirk from Star Trek. However, the girls thought it was ridiculous that the negotiator had to die.

From a marketing point of view, the commercial tries to connect people who are familiar with Star Trek. Since the commercial features an accident, it tries to convey the idea that consumers or travelers learn about a lot of deals on a day-to-day basis, and get a chance to compare those prices and ultimately get the best price. The message to save money is conveyed prominently – “At Priceline, you can choose some thousands of hotels ON SALE, everyday. Save yourself….some money”. After the negotiator goes down with the bus, the female passenger who manages to grab his phone just in time, books a hotel through the phone. She notices the rest of the passengers giving her “the look”, as  they felt it was highly inappropriate to do something like that while someone just died. The woman cleverly says, “Its what he would’ve wanted”, to quell the heat around her slightly. The ironic or controversial action tries to exhibit that it is equally important to save money as it is mourn someones death. So the “convenient, saving money” idea was conveyed well.

During the commercial, Priceline appears three times, and the negotiator says it only once.

As mentioned above, William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk in the famous Star Trek series, acted as the negotiator. He’s a Canadian actor, director, singer and author. According to the comments below the YouTube video, lots of people connect themselves with Star Trek: some complained about why their Captain had to die again and that the negotiator should have died as Captain Kirk ON the bridge and not fall off the bridge. This celebrity/Star Trek idea would work since people would talk about it, forward the message through emails or work-of-mouth communication. One of our team members hadn’t heard of the website, but, when Manish talked about it in excitement, she probably checked it out.

The second commercial we linked to interactive media is the GoDaddy – Cloud ad. The commercial shows two young men talking about one of their dreams last night. Both of them suddenly get dragged into a dream setting with sexy girls introducing’s Internet cloud. More hot girls show up, explaining the various steps to registering on to make “your personal and Internet dreams come true.” The two guys were certainly excited.

For this commercial, the target markets are young men who want to create their own Internet businesses and also fans of the Pussycat Dolls.

Men would certainly take to this commercial a lot more than women, since the main characters are all hot and sexy ladies.

The commercial tries to connect the viewers’ daily dreams and personal dreams; and within the commercial, it tries to show that has all the functions needed for creating a website: hosting, websites, domains, storage and email. The message was not effective since the scene exhibiting all the functions lasts for about 3 seconds, with the background sound saying something else. So it’s probably hard for people to notice the two aspects while watching the commercial.

The logo was on the screen throughout the commercial; the girl said twice, and towards the tail-end of the commercial, a huge “GO DADDY” sign hangs at the back of the scene.

The commercial features celebrities – the Pussycat Dolls and Danica Patrick. Since the CEO of aims to come up with campaigns that are “fun and edgy”, the commercial did convey the idea: funny guys and trendy singers.

The edgiest and most interactive part of the commercial was the QR code that appears throughout on the lower side of the screen to allow viewers to go to the website ASAP. For people who are bored of watching the commercial might use their phones and search the Internet. Increasing traffic! Whats more, at the end of the commercial, the voice says, “See more now, at”, asking for further interaction.

This is the link for the complete commercial:

And last, we also thought some of the commercials “required” an interaction with the viewer:

It asks the viewers to text to join a game to win millions of dollars.

The person was talking to the viewers and suggesting the viewers (customers) to go to the bathroom.


– Written by Angela Ou


22 thoughts on “Superbowl Commercial 2012

  1. I really like the 1st bank commercial. With less words, they briftly show that as a coutomer you should choose 1st bank, they can offer you better customers service than others’.

    • I totally agree with you. I am so happy that so many people have the same feeling as me . It is definitely the most impressive one that I have seen that night. So I think I have to share this unique commerical with my team and post it on our blog.

      Na Li

  2. Haha! I do remember the goDaddy commercial…always never relevant to what it actually does which is computer domains, etc. It’s interesting to think that people who are most inclined to get computer domains would be techy, nerdy, average males, and what better way to get their attention than by showing a plethora of beautiful, eligible, and “ahem” sexy looking women. It’s the male’s dream come true!

    you did a good number of commercials in your post 🙂 Very cool examples of interactive media.


    • Thanks Amanda! Yes, our team had a very good discussion about the commercial, and cannot decide on just one… 😀
      And yes, you are right, GoDaddy did a great job on targeting its main customers.

      Angela X.Ou

  3. I like the Priceline’s one most. This one delivers the message very directly and effectively!It connects the “Last deal” to the situation like “Last minute in the life”. In the end, The commercial also shows Priceline on the mobile device. It’s a good way not only reminds people what priceline is but also letting people now they have app on Apple and Android. Cool!

    Jiawei Shen

  4. 1st Bank’s commercial is fantastic! The content is simple, humorous and unexpected. But it perfectly accords to the company belief “Better Customer Service”. If a company really concerns customers’ needs, even their needs to go to bathroom, how can customers don’t like them?
    Lingling Ge

  5. I am really happy you guys mentioned the 1st bank commercial. Althouth you brought it up as a ‘negative commercial’ which needs more interactive element, it’s still one of the most brilliant commercials during superbowl. I believe everyone has been encountered this situation: really want to go bathroom but really don’t want to miss the show airing. 1st bank identifies this and uses it as a humor appeal in its own commercial by spending over 3 million in buying customers a time to go bathroom. How considerate they are!! Using this humor, 1st bank make the commercial memorable by connecting its prioritized customer service with this piece of commcercial and I can almost say that it won’t suffer wearout too much since every time when audiences want to go bathroom during their favorite shows, they are so eager to let this commercial be on TV haha.

    Weilan(Misty) Xu

  6. For the first commercial you picked, I want to say I really love William Shatner!! Not from Captain Kirk, I knew this funny guy from BostonLegal, one of my favorite shows. In that tvseries, William plays a tricky lawyer(Denny Crane) with undefeated record in over fourty years. So when seeing this commercial, I was quite convinced by the William and thought the deals offered by priceline must be all good bargins since they got Denny as spokesman(we all know how foxy and eloquent a a lawyer can be). So to this point, I suppose priceline made the good pick on spokesman. At least, it works for me. In fact, price and William has been in cooperation for quite a long time, over ten years, way back before Bostonlegal was aired. During such long period, priceline succeeded in dubbing Willim as its Negotiator. Thus, choosing the right celebrity(attractiveness, credibility) is one of the key elements to make priceline’s ads so popular. And you did a great job on talking this point (Although you say from Captain Kirk).
    In perspective of interactive marketing, I think you guys can talk more. By showing how to book hotels in commercial’ last second, priceline also reminds audiences to explore the cellphone to ease everyone’s life. Customers not only can get access to their website easily through phones, can also download priceline’s app for free. By providing the app, priceline enables customers to interact with each other by commenting or browsing on its page whenever and wherever.

    Weilan(Misty) Xu

    • Thanks for all the nice suggestions! Yep, William was (is??) in Boston Legal, too. I didn’t know this show had as much influence as Star Trek, so I missed it… Sorry. And I guess using celebrities is a REALLY good way to do promotions. This reminded me how Weibo got so popular in China by letting celebrities to sigh up at first, thus attracted millions of users in a very short period.

      Angela X.Ou

  7. First Bank Ad is waste of money to confuse audience .
    Confusion 1:
    Are the first bank spending approx 3m to buy 33 sec to let us go for bath room ? Even then, within 33 sec we cannot accomplish our mission. If at, all some quick doers are there , they wont wash their hand while coming our bathroom and immediately they may try their hand in foods. (awe full)
    Confusion 2:
    First bank might self boost themselves , that the audience has then seen the advertisement of the year (first bank – better customer service). Now audience can use bathroom , relax themselves and then they come & continue the game without any hurry.

    Ultimately first bank did not concentrate on gaining new account holder or promising to existing customer anything which account holder might look for. ( obviously better service is basic need of any bank in current market situation) E.Madhivanan

  8. Price line is awesome output of its Information technology and Business Intelligence marvel. No doubt, Price line has wonderful products and brand in hand to reach peak in market space when compared to Orbitz or any body. Priceline interactive media is must to be appreciated Ad. Clear picture of negotior hand over the mobile with price line app – Point to me noted in Add. A person who doesnt know any about Star can also understand, Price line is for cheap way of books quality hotels even while on travel via Mobile App. ( Awesome) E.Madhivanan

  9. It is hard to say this Ad is good or not. I am from another culture, not understanding the target customer’s culture. In our culture, if someone died in this way, and still persuade people to book this hotel, people will think it will be some bad happen.
    So the content of the Ads are always related. To me, this Ad is ridiculous. If all the people saved, this Ad will be boring. If the people in suit died, we will feel it is cruelty.

    –Xiaowen Wu

  10. I thought the Priceline commercial was great. The company is trying to draw attention to other sides of their business:

    I had heard, apparently incorrectly, that Shatner was no longer going to be in Priceline commercials. I thought it was hilarious that they’re actually killing off the character in the ads. You don’t often see that when a character or actor is phased out, usually the commercials just stop and a new direction takes its place.

    • Yes, they are very creative! However, I was wondering, what does it mean by killing the character? Is Priceline going to change another spokesman? but Shatner is still under contract?? I am confused…


      • That article implies that Shatner may be used in future ads as a new character, though it says he only has about a year left on his contract. I wouldn’t be surprised if they used him in a final campaign to show the passing of the torch to a new character/spokesman. That’s my best guess. I hope they keep the commercials funny, a lot of the Priceline commercials featuring Shatner have been very amusing.

  11. The commercial of Priceline is one of my favorite Super Bowl commercials. It creates a nervious atmosphere that all people in the bus is going to die, and then delivers the idea that if you want to save money and save life, you should choose priceline as soon as possible.The idea “save youself, save money” is much like Walmart’s slogan”save money, live better”. In the reality, pirceline uses “last minute inventory” to provide lowest price. So I think the target customer is not only the people who want to book hotel (mentioned in your blog), but also the price-senstive
    customers who really care the price.

  12. The commercial of Priceline is one of my favorite Super Bowl commercials. It creates a nervious atmosphere that all people in the bus is going to die, and then delivers the idea that if you want to save money and save life, you should choose priceline as soon as possible.The idea “save youself, save money” is much like Walmart’s slogan”save money, live better”. In the reality, pirceline uses “last minute inventory” to provide lowest price. So I think the target customer is not only the people who want to book hotel (mentioned in your blog), but also the price-senstive customers who really care the price.

    Shiqi Tao

  13. I love the 1st bank commercial! It is a really creative ad which tells people their belief “ Better Customer Service” in a practical way, not just by one’s words or pictures. Moreover, unexpected and considerable plot increases the degree of memory!

    Kaiyu Xiong

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