Michelle Obama photo

Remarks by the First Lady at FNV Live in Norfolk, Virginia

November 20, 2015

MRS. OBAMA: Wow! (Applause.) Look at you all! (Applause.) Are you all having a good time? (Applause.) I've been watching backstage, and it looks like you guys have been doing the Dougie and all kinds of stuff. (Laughter.)

First of all, let me start by thanking Christian, Gabrielle and Jessica for that wonderful introduction and for being here. And I want to just say hello to Hampton Roads! (Applause.) I am thrilled to be here today at ODU, my ODU folks. (Applause.) I am here to officially announce that I am joining Team FNV! (Applause.)

I'm joining artists like Gabrielle and Jessica, and Jordin Sparks and Nick Jonas, Ashanti and Estelle. I am joining athletes like Cam Newton, Serena Williams -- (applause) -- the Cowie sisters, and Paul and Kelly Rabil, our lacrosse players. These folks are all on Team FNV because, like me, they love fruits and vegetables. (Applause.) And like you, no one has to convince them that fruits and vegetables are good for them.

And fortunately, you guys already know that eating fruits and vegetables makes you feel good, like Christian said. It makes you strong. It's just simple. But here's the thing -- when you turn on the TV or you go online, you hardly ever see any really cool ads for fruits and vegetables. Instead, every year, the average kid in this country sees more than 5,500 TV ads for unhealthy foods, and just 100 ads for foods like fruits and vegetables.

So even if you know that fruits and vegetables are good for you, seeing all those commercials and the billboards and the celebrity endorsements for unhealthy foods can definitely influence your choices. I mean, the people in these ads, they're so convincing. The songs in the commercials, they're just catchy. And before you know it, you're in the store or standing in front of the vending machine, and you're buying stuff you just don't need, even when you know it's not good for you.

So we all know that advertising works, right? We know that those commercials influence almost everything we do -- the clothes we buy, the foods we eat, and so much more. So we figured, why shouldn't fruits and vegetables get in on a little bit of the action? And that's really what FNV is all about -- it's about taking the same power of advertising, but using it to promote foods that are good for us.

And here's the thing -- fruits and vegetables are pretty awesome products. I mean, if you take a look at some fruit, it looks good. It tastes good. They come in all kinds of sizes and colors. So it's about time we started marketing them that way. And that's why FNV has launched a major new campaign to promote fruits and vegetables. And this is a campaign -- it's going to be big and bold and colorful and fun. And it's going to have all the bells and whistles needed to get folks excited about these products.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: I love you, Michelle!

MRS. OBAMA: Hey, honey! (Applause.) You guys are good. You guys are good. I see you. (Applause.) But they're going to be running TV commercials. They're going to be putting cool ads on billboards. They're even getting big-time celebrity endorsements. That's why Jessica is here. She is endorsing watermelon. (Applause.) Cam Newton is endorsing oranges. (Applause.) Even JiffPom, that cute, little Pomeranian dog online -- he's so cute -- he's getting into the action. And since he weighs only about two pounds, don't be surprised if the fruits and vegetables he endorses are actually bigger than he is. (Laughter.)

But we are really excited that so many of our amazing celebrity endorsers have taken time out of their busy schedules to join us here in Norfolk for today's FNV launch celebration. And they're here because they believe in the power of fruits and vegetables -- even JiffPom is here. Who took a photo with JiffPom? (Applause.) Cute little piece of puppy. (Laughter.) We're also working with some amazing folks. We're working with Anthem Healthcare, Avocados from Mexico, Honest Company, and so many others.

And here's why we're here -- because this nationwide effort started right here in Hampton Roads, Virginia. Yeah! (Applause.) It all started here. For the past six months, FNV has been on the ground here in your community. They sponsored the Norfolk Tides baseball team and the ODU football team. (Applause.) They're driving a mobile vegetable van through your neighborhoods -- it's kind of like an ice cream truck for vegetables. They're even putting a lot of cool ads on your buses that feature NBA MVP Steph Curry. (Applause.) He's showing off his love for apples.

And I'm here because I want to thank all of you all for being such great partners in helping to launch this exciting new campaign. But as we begin to spread this campaign to other cities, we're going to need your help. We still need you. We're going to need every single one of you here and folks all across the country to join Team FNV with all of us.

So how do you do that? Just go to FNV.com to join Team FNV today. And we want you go get creative. I mean, start tweeting and instagramming your own ads. This is a great event to begin to do that. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat. And here's the thing -- if you create some good ads, you can watch as folks like Ashanti, maybe Steph Curry "like" and retweet what you've posted.

So can you guys do this? (Applause.) Can you help us share the amazing power of fruits and vegetables with the rest of the country? (Applause.) Are you going to join me and Steph and Jessica and Gabrielle and JiffPom on Team FNV? (Applause.)

All right then. I'm glad to have you guys on board. Now, it is also my job here today to introduce the next exciting challenge for today. This one involves supermarket carts, trivia questions, and what else -- fruits and vegetables, of course!

So it is now my pleasure to present to you the Supermarket Showdown! (Applause.)

Michelle Obama, Remarks by the First Lady at FNV Live in Norfolk, Virginia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/321798

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