When it comes to marketing power, RuPaul has a leg up on the competition. Thanks to the continued (and growing) success of RuPaul's Drag Race, America's drag superstar is more than a pretty face in a wig. She is a brand that can sell you just about anything. At least, that's according to AdWeek, which put Ru on this week's cover of the magazine.
RPDR is a prime example of a marketing shift, which is now focused on the soft sell and using the show's host to make the pitch. Fans of the competition will no doubt recall the brands that have been intergrated in the program of the show. A glass of Absolut vodka in the Interior Illusions Lounge, anyone? But Ru can even make the less obvious brands work.
"Some of the sponsors, we’ve actually had a lot of fun with integrating them into the show," Ru tells AdWeek. "We had a sponsor called BoobsForQueens.com, which became sort of a joke and a catchphrase and a punch line at times. But it raised visibility for the product in a fun way that wasn’t subversive, that didn’t seem really weird. [It] was this company that made these latex breast forms. ... We had fun with it. In fact, that is what drag’s all about. Drag doesn’t take life too seriously. We respect the product, but we bring it into our vernacular, and make it something that easily rolls off the tongue."
As for the secret to her success, Ru keeps things simple:
"Know thyself. Never try to be something you’re not, because the audience is looking for authenticity, and they’re looking for someone who understands their own energy."
No wonder she's 49 on Out's 2014 Power List — a number that's likely to shrink as she proves just how bankable she is.