Wisconsin is doubling down on its Airplane! advertising strategy.
Airplane! director David Zucker is taking his second stab at tourism advertising for his home state of Wisconsin. And after a rather lackluster first effort, this time he's brought in reinforcements—in the form of actor Robert Hays, who played the lead role of Ted Striker in the iconically silly 1980 comedy. This new spot, from Laughlin Constable in Milwaukee, is certainly more entertaining than the orchestra snowball fight from last winter. It shows Hays fishing off a Wisconsin dock when all of a sudden things take a turn for the worse in exponentially slapstick fashion.The comedy is as broad as it gets. Hays's voiceover yells and grunts are so cartoony as to be borderline insufferable. (The classy Michigan tourism campaign will certainly turn its nose up at this stuff.) But at least the spot goes for broke. What it's actually trying to say is another matter. Come to Wisconsin, where awful things can happen to you?Zucker and Hays are planning to film another spot in which Hays will return to the cockpit for a flyover of the state. "Wisconsin is home and having a chance to give back by helping support Wisconsin's tourism effort and reunite with old friends such as Bob [Hays] has been a blast," Zucker said. "After 30 years, Bob's comic timing is still dead on, and he's even agreed to let me put him in a plane again. I just hope that he has overcome his fear of flying by now." Hays added: "The memories of the war still haunt me, but David has promised me a great co-pilot, so that should ease my fears."