Monday, January 23, 2012

First Lady's "Tonight Show" Appearance Begins Promotional Efforts For New Gardening Book

First Lady Michelle Obama will kick off a national media campaign to promote her forthcoming book about the White House Kitchen Garden with a visit to NBC's Tonight Show With Jay Leno on Jan. 31. "American Grown," Mrs. Obama's first outing as an author, will be published in April. NBC said when announcing Mrs. Obama's appearance that she will discuss the book and the Let's Move! campaign; Mrs. Obama will embark on a three-day national tour to celebrate the second anniversary of her childhood obesity initiative starting on Feb. 9, with a visit to Des Moines, Iowa.

Mrs. Obama will also discuss life in the White House, according to the network, for her first appearance on The Tonight Show as First Lady. Mrs. Obama previously joined Leno in October of 2008 to discuss her husband's election campaign. NBC said Mrs. Obama's upcoming visit is the first for any First Lady on any late-night TV talk show, adding to her growing list of "firsts," including the gardening book.

Other promotional activities for Mrs. Obama's 256-page, $30 book, which will be released by Crown Publishing Group, will include a "Major national television campaign" and a "National and regional NPR [National Public Radio] campaign," as well as "National review and feature attention," according to the publisher. The advertising campaign will include announcement ads in the New York Times and Washington Post, and banner ads on major dot coms such as, as well as a social media campaign. Mrs. Obama joined Twitter on January 12. Her book deal was announced in March of 2011, after the Spring Planting of the now internationally famous Kitchen Garden.

Author Lyric Winik, known for helping craft bestselling memoirs for former First Lady Laura Bush and Sen. Scott Brown, has helped Mrs. Obama tell her story in "American Grown," and food/lifestyle photographer Quentin Bacon is responsible for the photos.

The President last visited Jay Leno right before Halloween, and his joking about the too-healthy contents of White House treat bags led to more candy being included in the bags doled out to kids for 2011's annual ghoulish celebration under the North Portico. In March of 2009 when he appeared on The Tonight Show, Mr. Obama became the first sitting US president to appear on any late night talk show. (Above: Mrs. Obama with Leno in 2008)

Mrs. Obama this month made her TV sitcom debut, appearing as herself on the popular Nickelodeon teen comedy "iCarly" in an episode created to honor military families. She's also cameo'd on a special White House edition of Iron Chef America, and appeared on Sesame Street in 2009 and, with her husband, she appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in May of 2011. Mrs. Obama is something of a regular on NBC's Today show.

*Cover photo by Crown; other courtesy of NBC