Tourists are invited to see autumn leaves

A new interactive marketing campaign for Ely, Minnesota, has launched this week to entice visitors to the Boundary Waters area, this time to admire the autumn leaves. And tourists are invited to take part in the joke.


A feature video story about the city’s traditional “Fall Leaf Colorization Project” launches today at The video was leaked early to Ely fans and has already been uploaded to and other sites. The radio campaign is also available to listen to at

Everyone is encouraged to visit to pass both video and radio on to friends and family to spread the word, and to take the joke one step further by filling out a Leaf Colorist application and taking a simple coloring test to qualify.

It’s all part of a campaign for Ely from GIRAFFE, Minneapolis, to draw more attention to that region’s spectacular fall colors. The “news” story, narrated by a well-known Minnesota outdoorsman, focuses on the fictional Zuenik family, a father-and-sons operation of fall leaf colorizers, who hand-paint the autumn foliage each year. “Two of the men in the video are retired Ely guys with no acting experience,” says John Jarvis, president, Giraffe Marketing. “Like a lot of guys up there, they’re story tellers who really know how to BS. They took the idea and had fun with it, really ran with our story.”

“We are continuing Ely’s tradition of fun and out-of-the-box ideas. The people up here are independent thinkers, not really big fans of the status quo,” says Linda Fryer, Ely Chamber of Commerce administrative director. “After our prank April Fool’s campaign about Ely being sold to Canada, tourism here was definitely up. So, we thought, why not have some fun in autumn, too? After all, we’re one of the first places you can see the fall colors in Minnesota, just four hours north of the Twin Cities. And, we have to have something to talk about through the winter, you know.”

Visit to participate, and to learn more about places to stay and things to see and do in the unspoiled Ely, Minn. wilderness area, including where to view the best, actually authentic, fall colors.

One comment

  1. scooter says:

    That video is absolutely hilarious!