RuPaul's Drag Race might not have seemed like a tentpole event for the Axe of old, but the reinvented Unilever men's grooming brand, once known for ads with women chasing men, has just made it one.
Axe recut the anthem ad for its new campaign from 72andSunny to feature a cameo by Bob the Drag Queen, winner of the eighth season of the Logo network reality show, then ran the ad immediately after the announcement at 10:30 p.m. on Monday night.
"Sometimes being your most authentic self involves accepting others for who they are," said the winner Christopher Caldwell, a New York City performer who goes by the stage name Bob the Drag Queen, in a statement provided by Unilever. "Maybe this ad can inspire someone to be the best they can be. "
The scene replaced one featuring another man dancing in drag that appeared in the original 30-second spot, which ran during the Super Bowl.
"We want to make it clear it doesn't matter how you define masculinity, which is very different than some of the storytelling we've done in the past," said Matthew McCarthy, senior director of Axe and men's grooming for Unilever, when the original ad broke in January.
Just in case, Axe was prepared with versions of the ad featuring the two other finalists -- Kim Chi and Naomi Smalls.