Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

“You Better Werq!”: Find out how this TV host built his empire through drag! [Monday: Marketing Marvels]

August 21, 2023

Miles Everson’s The Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more.

A Note from Miles Everson:

Happy Monday!

We hope you all had a good rest over the weekend.

Let’s start this day with a dose of motivation from our “Marvels.” Each Monday, we showcase exceptional industry professionals and highlight their experiences, contributions, and insights.

In this article, we’ll talk about one of the most iconic drag queens in the world.

Delve into the remarkable talents, achievements, and captivating personality of this person, whose contributions have played a pivotal role in the global success of this TV competition series.

Miles Everson
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute

Marketing Marvels

Friends and folks, buckle up for a thrilling ride into the adrenaline-fueled world of drag racing!

… but wait. This isn’t about fast cars and drivers in jumpsuits.

In this race, contestants wear wigs, 6-inch heels, and fashionable outfits. Instead of revving engines in racing circuits, these racers have to sew, sing, dance, act, and lip-sync to cross the checkered flag and become “America’s Next Drag Superstar.”

This is not your typical race because this is RuPaul’s Drag Race!”

Photo from Twitter

With continuous success and an ever-growing army of fans worldwide, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is not your ordinary reality TV competition show.

The series has not only revolutionized drag as an art form across various platforms and media, but has also paved the way for its contestants to achieve global stardom.

From its first season in 2009, the success of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” has lived on throughout the years. With 15 seasons so far, 8 All-Star editions, several spin-offs, and international franchises across continents, the show continues to tell stories of queer people from diverse backgrounds through drama, comedy, and everything in between.

All these recognitions and success have been majorly influenced by the show’s host…


Photo from Belfast Telegraph

RuPaul Andre Charles, also known as Ru or Mama Ru, is one of the most famous drag icons today. Not only is he one of the most commercially successful drag queens, but he is also an accomplished actor, model, singer, songwriter, and author.

Long before “RuPaul’s Drag Race” aired on TV, Ru was already making noise in the American drag scene, especially after the release of his chart-topping hit, “Supermodel (You Better Work).” In 1995, he secured a contract with M.A.C Cosmetics, becoming its spokesperson and generating millions of dollars for the M.A.C AIDS Fund.

The rest, as they say, is part of “herstory.”

Ru has received tons of recognition and awards since becoming a TV host—earning multiple Emmys, appearing in over 50 films and TV sitcoms, publishing books, and recording 16 solo albums.

In 2017, Time Magazine hailed him as one of the 100 Most Influential People of the Year.

Aside from groundbreaking success, Ru sashayed his way into being a marketing powerhouse.

Yes! “RuPaul’s Drag Race” offers more than just lessons in fashion, confidence, and “tucking.” It also teaches us valuable marketing insights.

There is no denying that Ru has been a central driving force behind the show’s popularity, so what can marketers learn from him and “RuPaul’s Drag Race?”

  1. It’s all about branding.

Throughout the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” series, Ru has consistently highlighted the importance of personal branding, which influenced countless contestants who participated in the show.

Ru’s marketing approach emphasizes authenticity and self-expression. By encouraging individuals to embrace their uniqueness, Ru has created a powerful message of empowerment that resonates with individuals from diverse backgrounds.

The key takeaway here?

Authenticity is essential! Creating a distinct brand that reflects your beliefs and values will help you connect with your target market on a deeper level. Your business can build a loyal following while fostering a sense of empowerment and connection among your customers.

  1. There are no rules in drag.

Ru didn’t stop from being a TV show host and drag icon. Instead, he ventured into other industries.

He is also a successful businessman because he has found a way to monetize his success and expand his brand in whatever ways possible. He launched products such as fragrance collections, makeup lines, apparel, and even books! He diversified his revenue streams and tapped into various markets by catering to his audience’s interests.

Even the drag queens who joined the show have adopted Ru’s strategy. Many former contestants now have their makeup empires or successful music careers.

The key takeaway here?

After cultivating a personal brand, identify the needs and desires of your target audience. Then, strategically diversify your revenue streams by launching products or ventures that align with your brand and cater to your audience’s interests.

  1. Take advantage of the digital space.

Ru has successfully tapped into the pulse of popular culture and adapted to the digital landscape. By staying relevant and engaging with younger generations across various social media platforms, he has maintained and expanded his fanbase.

The strategy is also apparent in “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” 

When the show started gaining more international audiences, the producers knew they needed to leverage the power of popular social media networks. The show’s social media strategy continues to evolve and grow to reach a vast audience.

In addition, the production engages the fans by posting memorable moments from previous episodes and generating image posts of the show’s most legendary and buzz-worthy moments.

These strategies help the show spread brand awareness and become deep-seated within consumer thoughts.

The key takeaway here?

Create strong connectivity between your viewers and your brand via social media. Use this platform to connect with potential customers, gain exposure, build brand loyalty, and interact with your audience.

  1. Create an emotional connection with your target audience.

Every drag queen who enters the “Werk Room” has a story to tell. From identity crisis to gender discrimination, the show gives contestants a platform to talk about stories the audience can relate to. 

For years, making authentic connections with the audience through storytelling has been the strategy of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Through these stories, the drag queens’ experiences are brought to the forefront, sharing their struggles and personal journeys behind their huge and glamorous personalities.   

The key takeaway here? 

Inspiring your target market helps foster strong relationships with them and creates a sense of belonging. This strategy can help you generate organic engagements, additional visibility, and reach a wider audience.

There you have it—some of the marketing lessons you can learn from Ru and his show!

There’s no harm in ditching old-fashioned strategies and trying a more unconventional route in the business industry. Drag has always been loud, proud, and colorful, and so is “RuPaul’s Drag Race’s” marketing strategy!

Beyond its popularity and success, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” was already a beacon of empowerment and celebration within the LGBTQ+ community. From its humble beginnings, the show served as a platform for self-expression, breaking down barriers, and promoting inclusivity.

… and it’s not just the show per se.

Ru also became the guiding force on and behind the show, inspiring drag queens and captivating people with his unique wit, charisma, and wisdom. Through the art of drag, he transcended from mere entertainment to becoming a powerful vehicle for spreading messages of love, acceptance, and the importance of embracing one’s true self.

We hope you learned a lot from today’s “Marvel!”

With your “charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent,” you can also inspire and captivate your target customers!

… and just like what Ru always says…

“Racers, start your engines… and may the best [marketer] win!”

(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.)

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Mondays: Marketing Marvels”

Too often, industry experts and the marketing press sing the praises of some brand or company’s marketing strategy.

… only for the audience to later find out that its product was a flop, or worse, that the brand or company went bankrupt.

The true ROI in marketing can’t be separated from the business as a whole.

What good is a marketing case study if one can’t prove that the company’s efforts actually paid off?

At the end of the day, either the entire business is successful or it isn’t. And the roles of marketing and communication are always paramount to that success.

Every Monday, we publish a case study that highlights the world’s greatest marketing strategies, marketers, and communicators.

However, the difference between our articles and the numerous ones out there is that we will always make certain that the firm really did generate and demonstrate earning power worthy of study in the first place (compliments of Valens Research’s finance group) in keeping with a person’s leadership skills in the area of marketing and/or communication.

We’ll also study the greatest marketing fails and analyze what they did wrong, or what they needed to improve. We all make our mistakes, but better we learn from others’ mistakes—and earlier, rather than later.

Hope you found this week’s marketing marvel interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Monday’s “Marketing Marvels!”


Kyle Yu
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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