Friday, July 29, 2005
Captain Kirk vs. Captain Picard (in online travel)
A terrible amusing WSJ story this week: Captain Kirk vs. Captain Picard -- regarding travelling on Earth:
In the online travel world, one of the biggest battles for new customers has come down to this: Captain Kirk vs. Captain Picard.
Patrick Stewart, who played Captain Picard on "Star Trek: The Next Generation," is the new company spokesman for travel search engine SideStep. That's a direct challenge to rival Priceline.com, whose ads have long featured William Shatner, Captain Kirk on the original "Star Trek."
The celebrity showdown reflects the growing rift within online travel. Traditional online travel sites -- like Priceline, which invented "name-your-own-price" online travel bidding technology -- ruled the dot-com era. Newer travel search engines, like SideStep, now scan the Web and claim to retrieve the best deals with no surcharge to the user.
SideStep enlisted Mr. Stewart because "he literally represents the next big thing. We can play off Priceline and the original captain of the Enterprise," says Phil Carpenter, a SideStep spokesman.
Date With the Captain:
Unlike Priceline's traditional ad campaign, SideStep's ad is a contest. The winner gets a chance to hang out with Captain Picard as the prize.
Travel Site Beams Up 'Next' Trekker
Campaign Features Patrick Stewart to Challenge Priceline Pitchman Shatner
By ANNELENA LOBB
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
July 26, 2005; Page A18
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