Nobody has a platform for publicity like the President of the United States. But even Barack Obama knows that reaching the children of America takes more than a press secretary. To gets kids’ attention, you have to get on their level.
Enter Robbie Novak, the adorable 9-year-old star of YouTube show Kid President. Originally conceived as a marketing campaign by Freed-Hardeman University’s marketing department — Novak’s family works for the university — Kid President has become an Internet sensation that’s taken on a life of its own. Since the show’s debut in October, Novak has gone on to interview stars such as Josh Groban and Rainn Wilson, and he even recorded a kick-ass TED pep talk that has more than 11 million views. Naturally, the White House thought he’d be the perfect person to team up with for the announcement of the 135th annual White House Easter Egg Roll.
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You might think Obama’s decision to make a cameo — and make Novak’s dreams come true — is the best part of this video, but that’s where you’d be mistaken. The real charm doesn’t start until the one-minute mark, after Obama’s appearance, when Novak reacts to news of the president’s involvement. It’s hard to put Novak’s excitement into words: He shouts, does a touchdown dance and repeatedly erupts into a giggle fit before launching into a history lesson about the White House tradition that Rutherford B. Hayes first started in 1878.
“Lynda B. Johnson? There’s a president named Lynda?” Novak asks while running through a list of past presidential participants and offering his colorful commentary. “Is he a boy or a girl? We can tell by their hair!”
The White House is expecting 35,000 visitors at the April 1st event this year, and space is tight. To have a shot at attending you have to sign up for the lottery here, which closes on Monday Feb. 25. If you’re hoping for junk food and a mountain of chocolate eggs, though, then clearly you’ve forgotten that this is an Obama family event: First Lady Michelle Obama and her bangs will be on the scene with tips and information for families about healthy eating and exercise habits on behalf of her Let’s Move! campaign.
“I told you people to make this awesome year, and look what you did, you made the White House call me,” Novak says of his invite in the video. “Isn’t that awesome? My head’s ready to explode.” Us too, Robbie.