The final “Airplane!” tourism ad premieres Saturday

Special to The Freeman

Jan. 9, 2015

 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Otto Autopilot and Robert Hays fly over Wisconsin’s winter landscape in a TV ad promoting tourism in the state. The commercial begins airing Saturday. 
Submitted photo

MADISON — It’s been a fun ride while it lasted for the former cast of “Airplane!” and the Wisconsin residents who got to see the ads they shot promoting tourism in the state. The final installation in a series of three seasonal TV ads from Wisconsin Department of Tourism premieres Saturday.

The commercials featured “Airplane!” stars Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Robert Hays and their inflatable co-star Otto Autopilot. The TV ad starting rotation Saturday highlights Wisconsin’s scenic beauty and winter outdoor activities with aerial footage, according to an announcement.

“This winter TV spot completes a series of ads that combined gorgeous, aerial footage in three different seasons with our brand of fun,” said Wisconsin Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett in a statement. “We are so fortunate to have such a great team of people behind these ads, which have generated a phenomenal amount of national exposure for tourism in Wisconsin.”

The summer, fall and winter TV spots reunited Abdul-Jabbar and Hays with the “Airplane!” writers and directors David and Jerry Zucker and Jim Abrahams, all Wisconsin natives.

The winter spot will run in Milwaukee, Chicago and the Twin Cities through Feb. 8, and in Chicago movie cinemas through Feb. 19.