Move over, Big Deal. Priceline.com has a new big man promoting its Express Deals(sm) hotel reservation service in a TV spot that begins airing this week. He’s none other than mixed martial arts champion and action-film heavy Oleg “The Russian Bear” Taktarov.
The new spot takes Kaley Cuoco and William Shatner to Siberia, where the Priceline Negotiator’s daughter finds her father in a jail cell watched by the beefy Russian guard Taktarov. They show him how all three can use priceline.com‘s Express Deals hotel service to escape the harsh Soviet winter and flee to a posh, sun-drenched hotel.
Taktarov (6 foot, 210 pounds) is a familiar face among martial arts and film fans. After years of teaching martial arts to members of the Russian military and KGB, he became one of the pioneering competitors when the Ultimate Fighting Championship series launched in the 1990s. In 1995, he won UFC6 by defeating David “Tank” Abbott. Other notable career wins were against Marco Ruas, Mark Kerr, and Anthony Macias. Unlike his loud, flamboyant opponents, Taktarov stood out for his quiet, determined focus inside and outside of the cage. Taktarov is known for never submitting in an MMA fight, and was voted by fans as one of MMA’s 10 most popular fighters of all time. After retiring from mixed martial arts, Taktarov went into acting and he has appeared in dozens of action films, including Air Force One, Miami Vice and National Treasure.
“Oleg’s quiet determination and focus on getting the job done, not to mention his martial arts skills, reminds you a bit of the Negotiator and his dogged pursuit of the best travel deals,” said priceline.com‘s Chief Marketing Officer Brett Keller. “Oleg is also a visual reminder of just how big the deals are with our Express Deals hotel service. We believe that this new spot with Oleg will be a bit hit among mixed martial arts and action film fans, who are familiar with his work.”
The spot showcases priceline.com‘s family-friendly Express Deals hotel reservation service, where customers don’t have to bid and can get quality hotel rooms (even choosing their bedding type in some cases) at savings of up to 45% over published rates. Express Deals customers view a page that includes amenities (pool, gym, on-site restaurant, etc.), special freebies (free breakfast, free Internet, free parking, etc.), star level, neighborhood, guest satisfaction scores on a 1-10 scale, and a special sale price. Many hotels participating in Express Deals allow customers to choose their bedding type (1 king, 2 doubles, etc.). Many of the hotels are pet friendly. After booking at the discounted price, the name of the specific hotel is revealed.