Drag Dollars: Making Room for Queens in Advertising

Juan Mundel, Samantha Close, Niki Sasiela

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Advertisements, as a socializing agent, influence individuals’ worldviews and values. As society changes, the content in ads also shifts to reflect salient cultural values and cues. The growing popularity of RuPaul’s Drag Race resulted in the irruption of drag queens into mainstream ads. Thus, this chapter first identifies salient themes, endorsers, and techniques used by brand advertisements, and based on the results of the content analysis, we then test through original empirical research on how a sample of US consumers evaluate ads that feature drag queens and cis-gendered endorsers. Results show that drag queens are often employed to advertise products such as accessories and shoes, and to a lesser degree, cosmetics and beverages, among other products. Image-oriented and emotional appeals are typically used in ads featuring queens. Furthermore, we found that respondents felt more positively about ads featuring drag queens than cis-gendered endorsers. We discuss these findings to contextualize the results within the larger LGBTQ advertising market.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDrag in the Global Digital Public Sphere
Subtitle of host publicationQueer Visibility, Online Discourse and Political Change
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781000638769
ISBN (Print)9781032204345
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities


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