Awards Luncheon Crowd Gets Peak at New Priceline Ads

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TORONTO -- Priceline.com unveiled a series of television and radio ads for its new name-your-own-price service at the DMA Hall of Fame Awards Luncheon & Presentation here yesterday.


The service allows customers to submit a price they would pay for 140 categories of groceries in more than 600 grocery stores in the New York area. The only requirement is that they select two or more brands. After naming the price, Priceline.com gives customers an answer in 60 seconds. If the bid is accepted, customers pay for items online with a credit card, and then print a receipt that they bring with them to the grocery store when they pick up their products.


"[We] took the value-equation of naming your own price and saving money for groceries, and combined it with the fact that we know [customers] want to shop at a store," said Priceline.com founder Jay Walker .


Walker gave the packed house at the luncheon a preview of three television commercials featuring William Shatner that begin running run on stations in New York Sunday. He also played several radio ads that will air on radio stations in New York beginning Sunday.


Walker told the audience that the value equation for Internet marketers is different than for traditional marketers. Internet marketers must not only provide entertainment, convenience and value, but information -- offering customers the chance to research product specifications or check prices, for example. This information can go even deeper, Walker said, allowing customers to share their attitudes, perceptions, opinions, satisfaction levels, and buying plans with e-marketers.


Priceline.com, Stamford, CT, works, Walker said, because sellers have such information about what their customers are thinking. "If it is a choice between losing you as a customer, or giving you a lower price," he said, "as long as it is not going to effect [their] retail price, then of course [they] are interested."
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