If you've ever seen an episode of RuPaul's Drag Race, you're probably aware that among RuPaul's skills - and those she passes down to her girls - is the ability to shamelessly plug and advertise anything and everything they're given. Recently we've noticed lots of brands tapping into drag queen "charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent," by using queens as their spokesmodels! Here are some of the most recent companies we have noticed featuring drag queens in their advertisement campaigns.
If you've ever seen an episode of RuPaul's Drag Race you've probably picked up on the fact that Absolut is one of their biggest sponsors. In exchange for much needed funding, the show plugs their product relentlessly, even going so far as to name their national tour after the product. However, some of their queens have gone on to be individual spokesmodels with them after their run on the show. Their commercial boasting 30 years of support for LGBT communities featured Raja, Yara Sofia, Alexis Mateo, Manila Luzon, and Shangela! They also created a mini web series with Logo, "RuDunnit" which featured Absolut vodka mixed drinks along side Michelle Visage, Chad Michaels, PhiPhi O'Hara, Latrice Royale, and Sharon Needles.
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)
Fun fact about Sharon Needles: she's an avid vegetarian! PETA tapped into this side of her personality to pair with her last year for an ad campaign that would run around Halloween. The campaign, in true Sharon Needles fashion, featured the Season 4 RuPaul's Drag Race winner covered in blood and holding dismembered limbs of a human body, drawing parallels between the horror we find in cannibalism and the consumption of non-human flesh. The campaign truly embraced her "when in doubt, freak 'em out," aesthetic! (Warning: video contains some graphic images of footage shot in meat packing plants. If you're squeamish, you may want to reconsider watching it.)
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics
A cruelty free make-up brand with DWV as their spokesmodels? Yes, please! Fans of drag were very excited when the OCC brand - available at Sephora - released their six new shades of lip tar and nail polish featuring the faces of Detox Icunt, Willam Belli, and Vicky Vox. Each shade was designed to match the queens' personal styles and personalities!
Even the most popular social media site in the world is recognizing the power of drag queens in their advertisements. Their campaign commercial featured Shangela coming out of a stewardess cart. Is this a play off her surprising bring back for Season 3 (and 4) of RuPaul's Drag Race?
This top-notch wig company features the faces of several drag queens. Their drag spokesmodels include a slew of queens. Drag Race veterans Pandora Boxx and Honey Mahogany, as well as two of our very own Queens of the Week - Anaol Fetale and Porcelain - are just a few of the gorgeous queens representing this company! Their colorful and high quality hairdos combined with some of our favorite queens is definitely a "do" in our book! Be sure to check them out at RockStarWigs.com
Did you know that Jinkx Monsoon is a spokesmodel for a Seattle based organic make-up company? You do now! Long before she appeared on RuPaul's Drag Race this queen started selling Atomic Cosmetics on her website! Atomic Cosmetics has almost become synonymous with her name now that she's catapulted into stardom! In addition to Jinkx, Atomic Cosmetics also features several other Seattle drag performers as models for their products, including Waxie Moon, Ben Delacreme, and Robbie Turner!
This summer Old Navy featured four of our favorite queens - Raja, Delta Work, Tammie Brown, and Pandora Boxx - as part of an advertisement campaign during June. The company's Pride Month campaign showed these four gorgeous ladies wearing gowns made of their well-known brightly colored flip-flops, catching the attention of passersby in San Francisco and New York City.
Andrew Christian's designer underwear has been featured on RuPaul's Drag Race - as the go to uniform for the pit crew - for several seasons now. However, recently the designer upped the ante and had Manila Luzon, Raja, Rhea Litre, and Pandora Boxx appear in an ad campaign video. The video features male model auditions with Pandora Boxx as part of the judge's panel and the other three queens playing the roles of producers and audition room supervisors!
In yet another spokesmodel role, Manila Luzon channels her inner shoe queen to advertise Nine West's stylish footwear on the streets and web in a new game-show style series, "What Would You Do For Shoe?" The ad campaign cleverly combines her campy comedy with her glamourous style. Who wouldn't want to buy shoes advertised by this glamazon?
Orbitz Travel - a long time commercial ally to LGBT communities - first featured a campy drag queen by the name of Miss Richfield. The series of ads featured Miss Richfield visiting a series of vacation spots, hotels, and travel venues. Following filming of the RuPaul's All Stars Drag Race season, they released another commercial featuring four of the All Stars contestants Latrice Royale, Manila Luzon, Tammie Brown, and Raven, which aired during their season. The company's long-time use of drag queens as spokesmodels is something we certainly hope to see continued well into the future!
RuPaul is back as a spokesmodel! In her Viva Glam ad campaign with M.A.C Cosmetics, she has certainly helped to remind us all why she was the original drag supermodel of the world! She's far from being done with her reign as queen! This recent move by M.A.C certainly proved that she is here to stay, and so is their support of the drag community!
If drag queens write a song about a company does that count as sponsorship and supportive promotion? NOPE! But we LOVE the shameless anti-plug in this perfect parody too much to leave it off this list!
To every other company: take note!