New ‘Airplane!’ inspired Wisconsin Tourism ads bring back cast members

After teaming up with Jordy Nelson for a set of commercials, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism decided to raise the bar much, much higher. So high, in fact you’d need an airplane to get there.

Consider it done.

Wisconsin Tourism brought Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Robert Hays, two stars of the original cast from the 1980 comedic blockbuster “Airplane!” to promote the state in ads that will run in summer, fall and winter of 2014.

Directed by Wisconsin natives David Zucker, Jim Abrahams and Jerry Zucker, there will be three distinct 30-second spots airing next year, all filmed in the original cockpit from the movie.

If you’re going to be using aerial shots who better to use than the master of the skyhook himself. Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer and helped the Bucks win its only world championship in 1971. He was named the Finals MVP that year.

“My experiences playing in Milwaukee and appearing in ‘Airplane!’ remain such positive parts of my life,” he said. “When ZAZ asked, I was more than happy to return to the cockpit to promote Wisconsin, whose great fans launched my basketball career.”

Surely this is an ad that’s bound to blow up.