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New tourism ad good, but misses the northwoods

"Roger Murdock" (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), "Ted Striker" (Robert Hays) and Otto Pilot in the original “Airplane!” cockpit during the shoot of the new aerial ads for the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. PHOTO: Wis. Department of Tourism
"Roger Murdock" (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), "Ted Striker" (Robert Hays) and Otto Pilot in the original “Airplane!” cockpit during the shoot of the new aerial ads for the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. PHOTO: Wis. Department of Tourism

UNDATED (WXPR) -- A new Department of Tourism ad doesn't feature much of northern Wisconsin, but a Northwoods tourism leader says it will do good things for this region and the state.

The ad...revealed this week, shows a remake of the former "Airplane" movie scene with Robert Hays and Kareem Abdul­ Jabbar in a cockpit touring the state by air.

The annual Governor's Conference on Tourism is being held this year in Lake Geneva. Minocqua Chamber of Commerce Director Kim Baltus says the new ad is designed to promote what tourists want.  "They're trying to get people to understand if you travel to Wisconsin you're going to have fun. That's what they want to portray, that Wisconsin is a place to have fun and have that fun be in whatever form works for you."

Baltus says she's hearing at the conference that more money is coming for tourism marketing. She says people in the Northwoods don't usually see the marketing.  "It's really occurring in the southern part of the state and it's broadening out to Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Michigan. We don't see (the ads) because they're marketing to people not in our area to hopefully travel to the Northwoods of Wisconsin."

Some new scenes for the ad were filmed in the original cockpit of the movie. The spots also reunited Wisconsin natives and "Airplane!" writers and directors David and Jerry Zucker and Jim Abrahams, all with Northwoods and Wisconsin ties.

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