The campaign to promote Jay Leno’s return to The Tonight Show has officially begun. His first promo – which already aired on the east coast tonight during NBC’s telecast of the Winter Olympics – should look vaguely familiar to anyone who remembers the spot that ran during last year’s Super Bowl to create awareness for Leno’s primetime show: it features Leno driving down L.A.’s Pacific Coast Highway in a flashy Cobra. It’s the same car and road in the updated spot, but this time the “10” on the side of the car flies off to reveal “11:35 p.m.,” instead – all while “Get Back” from The Beatles plays in the background. More promos for Leno are expected to air during the duration of the Olympics.
Last month, NBC Entertainment Chairman Jeff Gaspin told EW that the network will promote Leno’s return “with some humor and a wink, not a sledgehammer. We will certainly be more subtle.” He went on to say that the positive side of the public battle to replace Conan O’Brien was that the public already knows what’s going to happen to the venerable late night franchise. “All we have to do is gently remind people when it starts,” Gaspin said. “We’ll have the Olympics as a platform to let people know that Jay will be back on The Tonight Show starting March 1.”
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