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Wisconsin tourism ads are 'idiotic,' Dayton says

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It doesn't sound like a neighborly thing to say, but Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said Tuesday that a television ad campaign for Wisconsin tourism is "one of the most idiotic things I've ever seen," according to the Star Tribune.

The ad campaign is a takeoff of the 1980 comedy movie "Airplane!" and features two stars of the original movie, Robert Hayes and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (pictured above), extolling the virtues of Wisconsin's scenery as they fly overhead.

Here's the last of the three ads in the campaign, which is running in the Twin Cities, Chicago and other markets until the end of the week.

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Gov. Dayton was speaking at Minnesota's annual Explore Minnesota tourism conference Tuesday when he offered his critique of the ads. He joked that Minnesota should pay Wisconsin to keep the ads on the air, according to the Star Tribune.

The campaign's three spots – one each featuring summer, fall and winter – were written and directed by the three Wisconsin natives who put together the original "Airplane!" movie, David and Jerry Zucker and Jim Abrahams.

The winter ad will run in Milwaukee, Chicago and the Twin Cities through Feb. 8, according to

Apparently Dayton didn't think too much of the campaigns for North and South Dakota and Montana, either, the newspaper notes.

The Explore Minnesota conference brings together state leaders and tourism businesses to discuss how to improve tourism promotion in Minnesota, KSTP reports.

Explore Minnesota’s latest marketing campaign, “Only in Minnesota,” has reportedly brought in more than $320 million in state tourism spending, as well as almost $30 million in state and local taxes, says KSTP.

Dayton wants to increase state funding for tourism, and he is proposing a tax on rental cars to raise the money.

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