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Special Project

Special Project
From the 13th Annual Shorty Awards

bubly Sparkling Water & Ru Paul's Drag Race 2020 Partnership

Finalist in LGBTQ Community Engagement


Since its launch in 2018, bubly has championed love and inclusivity for the LGBTQ+ community. Building on the brand’s support for GLAAD, Stonewall Community Foundation, The Center for Black Equity, its Pride-themed packaging, and its roster of LGBTQ+ ambassadors, a partnership with Ru Paul’s Drag Race seemed destined. Since 2009, the Emmy Award-winning franchise spanning 13 seasons and giving rise to 166 Drag Queen contestants was the ultimate partnership to cement bubly’s commitment to celebrating all the flavors of love, fun, and of course, fashion.


Knowing that 61% of American consumers[1] list diversity in advertising as critical & focusing on the reality that nearly all 96% of LGBTQ+ individuals say companies need to do more throughout the year vs. just Pride month[2], the brand created two main objectives:

1 Forbes, 2020.

2 Reboot Online, June ’19


Strategy and Execution

In Spring 2020, the sparkling water known for its charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and Talent partnered with Ru Paul’s Drag Race to raise their cans to a new season of sweet and refreshing surprises across the hit show’s linear and social platforms.

Through collaboration with producers and writers, bubly aligned itself with iconic Ru Paul’s Drag Race moments and properties that integrated the brand’s cheeky brand messaging and colorful, smiling packaging into the bright and sparkling world of the show. 

Starting with the Season 12 premiere, bubly sashay-ed into the ‘Werk Room with a custom mini-challenge, top prize for the night’s Lip Sync, and a :30 Talent-driven vignette. The branded content featured fan-favorite queens from past seasons, Monet X Change, Aquaria, and Peppermint, gliding down the runway in colorful and unexpected fashion looks inspired by the latest bubly flavors.

By spotlighting iconic queens within custom branded content and in-show segments, bubly empowered Talent to put their own unique spin on bubly flavors by designing, building, and modeling their very own bubly-themed runway looks. In doing so, the show’s adoring fans were treated to all-new interpretations of watermelonbubly, pineapplebubly and blackberrybubly, and experiences that celebrated their favorite queens’ individual styles and personalities.

To engage fans within the franchise’s official companion shows and showcase the brand’s foray into mixology, bubly was integrated into the premiere digital episode of the Pit Stop, the Untucked on-air after show, and long-form social content, all of which served up specialty bubly cocktails for the queens to enjoy and of course, crack a smile. The Untucked integration even included the surprise of all surprises for the winning queens – a backstage appearance and bubly cocktails with guest bartender, Vanessa “Miss Vanjie” Mateo (Season 10 contestant).

Capitalizing on the show’s passionate fanbase, bubly and Vh1 crafted a platform-specific social strategy designed to resonate with both properties’ audiences as well as LGBTQ+ consumers. Through custom GIFs, behind-the-scenes content, and cutdowns of the in-show moments via Twitter Amplify, bubly provided fans with a suite of assets to help them engage with the #1 social show on VH1. We’ll cheer to that! 


As evidenced by fan social engagement and a Latitude study measuring overall viewer impact, the partnership drove lifts across all core brand metrics.

In particular, the program resonated with viewers who identified themselves as members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Across the RPDR universe, bubly received major brand love from hyper-connected fans.

With the campaign launching in the heart of the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic when all major productions went on hiatus, bubly and Ru Paul’s Drag Race provided a welcomed respite from what was quickly deemed “The New Normal”.


Video for bubly Sparkling Water & Ru Paul's Drag Race 2020 Partnership

Entrant Company / Organization Name

PepsiCo Beverages North America, OMD + Viacom Velocity (VH1), Pepsi Beverages NA- bubly


Entry Credits