Some days, it seems like the Internet is just full of people being awful to each other — but I am happy to report that today is not one of those days. First, there was Ruth Baby Ginsburg… and now there’s this: Starbucks’ new “Coffee Frenemies” ad starring RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Bianca Del Rio and runner-up Adore Delano. Technically it didn't drop today; it first hit YouTube on October 29. But I'm going to go ahead and say it anyway: Today is a day for good things on the Internet, and this particular good thing is awesome for so many reasons.
A collaboration between the ‘Bux and OUTtv, the ad is equal parts hilarious and important. I think Kelsey Miller at Refinery29 hit the proverbial nail square on the head as to why is:
“It's simple, funny, and doesn't hit viewers over the head with a Very Important Message. Drag queens are entertainers, and so, this ad entertains. PSAs have their place, but this kind of media plays a crucial role in normalizing and integrating the LGBTQ community into mainstream consciousness. Not everyone's had personal experience with drag queens. But, we're all too familiar with Starbucks.”
Or, as The Frisky’s Rebecca Vipond Brink put it: “This is the best mainstream depiction of drag I’ve ever seen: It’s fun and kitschy. That’s it. Hooray!”
This. So much this. The normalization is key, and the tone is spot-on. Scroll down to watch the whole thing, but for those of you who don’t have video access at the moment, here’s the general gist in four pictures:
Adore Has a Killer Schedule
A 7 p.m. interview, an 8 p.m. cruise, and a 9 p.m. show in front of 5,000 fans? Yikes. Clearly the only way to deal with it is a coffee — and wouldn't you know it, there's a Starbucks right over there!
But the Line is So Looooooong…
Time is of the essence, so what are you going to do? Appeal to people’s good nature, of course, and ask if they mind terribly if you skip ahead in the line a little bit. Today, it seems, everyone is being a good sport about it, letting Adore bounce on up to the front. Until…
Dun Dun Duuuuuuuuun!
It’s arch nemesis Bianca Del Rio! Cue the squabbling, because no one wields zingers quite as well as these ladies. But little do they know we’ve got one heck of a barista in the house, who dutifully gets to work while they bicker. Right when it seems like they’re about to come to literal blows…
Starbucks: Saving friendships since 1971. Awesome, right?
Starbucks has been a longtime supporter of marriage equality and LGBT rights. When the National Organization for Marriage initiated a boycott of the coffee chain in 2012 because of its support for same-sex marriage in Washington State, CEO Howard Schultz stood by the company’s stance; he told a complaining investor, “You could sell your shares at Starbucks and buy shares in other companies.” Starbucks was also one of 70 business and organizations that filed a brief in federal court opposing the Defense of Marriage Act in 2011. As Schultz said, the company employs more than 200,000 people and “we want to embrace diversity of all kinds.”
Incidentally, that’s the same philosophy Ikea expressed way back in the early ‘90s during their “Lifestyle” campaign. Although it’s still kind of frustrating that more commercials didn’t follow in Ikea’s footsteps after the “Dining Room” ad aired in 1994, we’re finally getting there now — and that, as they, isn’t nothing. Kudos to Starbucks and OUTtv, applause for Del Rio and Delano, and hoorah for the Internet today.
Check out the full video below:
Images: OUTtv/YouTube (4)