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In retrospect, Mr. Sealey said, “You don’t give up equity like Priceline had in Mr. Shatner. It’s like Aflac giving up the duck or Progressive [insurance] giving up Flo,” he said. Mr. Shatner’s return “won’t correct a bad earnings report, but it is the right move.”

On Aug. 8, Priceline.com Inc.’s stock fell more than $100, about 17 percent, after the company warned investors that its third-quarter revenue and income would come in far below analysts’ forecasts because of the deepening malaise in Europe, a burden shared by other companies.

Another blow came Monday: Shares of Priceline and other online travel companies fell after Google announced the acquisition of the Frommer’s brand of travel guides, beefing up Google’s array of travel search and review assets.

Cue Mr. Shatner, who as the valiant Capt. James T. Kirk of the “Star Trek” TV and movie franchise knows what it’s like to play the hero. Nothing wrong with doing so in a commercial, he said.

“There’s a certain pride in making a character in advertising a popular character,” he said. “You could look at it as an achievement.”