We already know that this year’s Super Bowl includes the first-ever openly LGBTQ coach in the event’s 54 year history. Now comes word it’s also going to feature the first drag queens.
Hummus brand Sabra will feature two alumni of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” Kim Chi and Miz Cracker, in an ad that will run during the NFL championship game on February 2. AdWeek reports that the barrier-breaking commercial is part of a campaign which also features rapper T-Pain and former “Real Housewives of New Jersey” rivals Caroline Manzo and Teresa Giudice.
“We’re bringing a diverse group of personalities to the table and demonstrating just how incredibly versatile, relevant and relatable hummus is today,” said Jason Levine, Sabra’s Chief Marketing Officer. “We think we’ve got something for everyone.”
A teaser for the ad campaign, posted by Sabra on YouTube last week, offers a glimpse of the two queens, in which Miz Cracker is struggling to put a football helmet on over her enormous wig, saying “I hope this doesn’t give me helmet hair,” while a bemused Kim Chi watches.
Talking to NBC, marketing strategist Bob Witeck, who specializes in marketing to LGBTQ audiences, said the inclusion of the two popular queens in the ad is “revolutionary.”
“For queer audiences, [drag] is an art form and an ‘outsiders’ language. Reaching the Super Bowl means taking our language into every home in the nation and millions around the world.”
Predictably, there has been blowback. A petition started by Catholic website LifeSite has called for a boycott of the big game, describing the inclusion of the drag queens “a new low for the Super Bowl.” Another petition, from the notorious One Million Moms, a front for the American Family Association (designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center), deplores the ad by saying, “Normalizing this lifestyle is contrary to what conservative, Christian parents are teaching their children about God’s design for sexuality.”
Conservative backlash aside, Witeck says there has been a “sea change” in public attitudes toward drag over recent years, a normalization due in large part to “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Now, for the first time, the Sabra ad will put drag into the living rooms of approximately 100 million football fans during arguably the biggest sports event of the year.
“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,” says Witeck. “It’s us telling our own joke about ourselves, with a sense of humor and authenticity… with luck, everyone laughs with us.”
The Kansas City Chiefs face the San Francisco 49ers for Super Bowl LIV on Sunday, February 2 at the Miami Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. The game will air live on Fox at 6:30pm ET.
You can watch the teaser for the Sabra ad featuring Kim Chi and Miz Cracker below.