In 2022, RuPaul’s Drag Race ventured into new creative territories and explored untapped marketing strategies to excite our audience and engage them with different and unique types of content. Animation was a realm we had yet to explore and we knew this would be the year where we would experiment in this medium. Our objective was to create an original animated short that supported the upcoming All Winners season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, while also creating a piece of content that could standalone and be evergreen in its entertainment value. As this was truly our first attempt at animation, we were cautiously optimistic with its success and simply hoped it would have positive fan sentiment and gain some attention in the press once it premiered.
To bring The Battle of RuCropolis to life, we identified key partners early in the process that would aid in bringing this project to life. Together with Brooklyn-based animation studio, Cartuna, we worked to create the original aesthetic of this piece, inspired by Greek Mythology and generating likenesses of the queens in the form of goddesses. We also worked with queer comedians, and Drag Race superfans, Matteo Lane and Matt Rogers to help shape and execute on the story and tone of the piece. This incredible super team set forth on a multi-month long plan to create this short and have it ready for a specific release during the lead up to RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 7 All Winners. A major learning for the team was truly just how involved and challenging the animation process is, with countless versions and revisions, we knew we wanted to get this right and make sure we delivered on a premiere video that felt unique. The Drag Race audience certainly was not expecting this release, which we believed help lead to its amazing success upon its launch.
Candidly, this project overdelivered and exceeded our expectations beyond what we could have imagined. Not only was the short organically written about in numerous press outlets, but the views, social conversation and fan reaction outperformed our modest expectations, leading to the greenlight of another animated project. Specifically, our audiences responded to this undertaking being new and unexpected, and they also responded to RuPaul’s Drag Race as an exciting brand for continuing to take creative risks. The queens featured in the short all shared it socially, in addition to our creative collaborators, and the buzz around it contributed to the overall promotion RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 7. The Battle of RuCropolis was an undeniable success.
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