Wisconsin tourism ads are 'idiotic,' Dayton says


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.

This embed is invalid

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 TravelWisconsin.com.

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.

Next Up

coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2

Minnesota confirms America's 1st case of Brazil P.1 COVID strain

The strain was found in a Twin Cities metro resident who recently traveled to Brazil.


Gov. Walz announces education plan aimed at eliminating disparities

The plan covers seven categories, including closing the racial education gap and improving opportunities in rural Minnesota

Tax forms

Charges: Otsego cleaning business underreported sales

An Otsego woman is accused of owing more than $20,500 in sales tax, penalties and interest.

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 2.58.26 PM

Walz gives vaccine providers 3-day, 7-day deadlines to use doses

Those that don't use their allocation will be given less in the future.


Border officers seize more than $550K in counterfeit designer goods

The shipments of fake goods were seized on Jan. 22.

Landfill plastic bags

4 Twin Cities landfills seek to expand capacity

This comes as the area's waste-to-energy facilities are operating at capacity.

Marcus Carr

3 of 10 finalists for NCAA's top point guard award have MN ties

Not a bad way to represent the State of... Basketball?

Justice, court

Minnesota grants unconditional pardon to grandmother facing deportation

Gov. Tim Walz says it's the first full pardon granted by the state in 35 years.

covid-19, vaccine

Minnesota changes vaccine appointment process, here's what to know

Walz also announced plans for a mass vaccination event at Xcel Energy Center.

covid-19, coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, Jan. 25

The latest figures from MDH have been released.

covid-19, vaccine

Minnesota health leaders say state's vaccine progress better than figures suggest

Minnesota is lagging behind national vaccination rates, but MDH leaders say this is because it's holding 2nd doses in reserve.