By Liam Knox
First, it was an unexpected appearance at President Donald Trump’s impeachment hearings, and now it’s a barrier-breaking debut during one of the year’s most watched sporting events.
Drag queens, for the first time, will appear in a Super Bowl advertisement. “RuPaul’s Drag Race” alumni Kim Chi and Miz Cracker will make history in a commercial for hummus brand Sabra during the football championship game Feb. 2, when the Kansas City Chiefs will face the San Francisco 49ers.
In the teaser for the ad campaign, which the New York-based company posted on its YouTube channel last week, Miz Cracker clumsily attempts to put a football helmet on over her sizable wig.
“I hope this doesn’t give me helmet hair,” she says, while Kim Chi looks on skeptically.
The Sabra campaign will also feature rapper T-Pain and another reality television duo: former “Real Housewives of New Jersey” rivals Caroline Manzo and Teresa Giudice, according to AdWeek.
Bob Witeck, a longtime marketing strategist who specializes in reaching LGBTQ audiences, called Sabra’s drag ad “revolutionary.”
“For queer audiences, it is an art form and an ‘outsiders’ language,” Witek said of drag. “Reaching the Super Bowl means taking our language into every home in the nation and millions around the world.”
Witeck said the Sabra ad, which could reacharound 100 million viewers during the Super Bowl, is indicative of a sea change in the public perception of drag, which he said has been normalized in the mainstream for many years, thanks in large part to the success of the award-winning reality show “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
“The Super Bowl is the ultimate test, when you can take chances like this and realize that the fear of drag is nothing people imagined it to be,” he said. “It’s us telling our own joke about ourselves, with a sense of humor and authenticity … with luck, everyone laughs with us.”
In addition to the first drag queen-filled ad, Super Bowl LIV will also have the annual game’s first female and openly gay coach: Katie Sowers of the 49ers.