RuPaul Dresses Up Product Placement

Reality shows like Drag Race, Top Chef, Project Runway cast brands in a starring role

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Not long ago, brand integrations on television could be kind of a drag. To get noticed, marketers relied on standard, sometimes clumsy product placement tactics like putting digitally enhanced samples on an emcee’s desk or filling a sitcom family’s refrigerator with goods. 

Cover Photo: Mathu Andersen

Experts agree such ploys won’t cut it with today’s savvy viewers, who are tuning out forced attempts to link brands with their favorite shows. What’s more, the results of such placements can be difficult if not impossible to track, bedeviling brand managers and network execs hungry for consumer engagement data.

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