- Hollywood is here in the Northwoods this week. Robert Hays who played Ted Striker in the 1980 hit movie "Airplane!" is starring in a Wisconsin summer tourism commercial directed by "Airplane!" director and Wisconsin native David Zucker.
Hays is not playing a fearful pilot this time around. Instead he's a Northwoods fisherman.
The actor had never been to the Northwoods before this trip and he is impressed by the area. "The lake is gorgeous. The scenery's gorgeous. The bald eagles flying over and all the people, the crew, everyone's great," he says.
Tourism officials are thrilled to have Zucker and Hays represent Wisconsin in the ad.
Stephanie Klett, the Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism says commercials are important in order to convince people to travel to Wisconsin rather than other midwestern states like Michigan and Illinois.
"If you don't market your state, you don't get the business...It's a great return on investment. For every dollar you give the Department of Tourism to invest in marketing our state, we get the state $6 back."
Klett says the Department of Tourism received an additional $2.5 million in its budget this year.
They decided to shoot the commercial in the Northwoods because "it was really important to highlight Wisconsin's gorgeous Northwoods. Often times they don't get the attention they deserve and we're changing that at the Department," says Klett.
The Department chose Zucker to direct the commercial because it was impressed with his winter tourism ad from last year.
The director is not new to the Northwoods - he and his father would go on fishing trips in the area.
Klett says the commercial will not be finished until the Fall or Winter.
Story By: Lauren Stephenson