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Paramount+ says audio doesn’t have to be a drag

The all new Paramount+ show Drag Queen Specials was a challenger show launching on a challenger streaming service. It was critical that category media formula of video trailers and OOH was replaced by something fabulous. It needed a media execution as confrontational, comedic and crass as the star of the show, Art Simone. So of course, to showcase the most colourful and eye-catching character on Australian TV, we chose audio.

Our media strategy leant into the insight that a drag queen’s most distinctive asset was their voice: the sass, the attitude, the comedic audience roasts. We used a 360-degree audio approach to bring drag queen humour into the living room and give our audience a taste of being at a drag performance (without being at a drag performance).

Firstly, we disrupted listening experiences by having Art Simone pop up and roast podcast hosts in integrated segments. To extend reach and talk to audiences in Australia for Sydney World Pride, we partnered with iHeart Radio to launch a bespoke digital radio station called Pride Radio, promoting queer voices and anthems. This was supported by high-frequency messaging across linear radio and digital audio voiced by Art Simone. The jewel in the diamante-studded crown, was the design of a Smart Speaker voice skill with commands like “Alexa, ask The Comedy Queen to roast me”, bringing Art Simone into Australian homes for a real-time personal roasting.

As predicted, Australians are rather partial to a roasting, and by hacking a channel, it delivered media, brand, and business success. The campaign assisted in a 23% increase of first streams on Paramount+ Comedy Specials, and as a further demonstration of effectiveness, Paramount+ has increased investment in all audio touchpoints for subsequent comedy launches.

The solution to bring excitement to the Drag Queen Specials set a new benchmark for Paramount+. An audio ecosystem with iconic talent at the heart gave drag queens a new platform to share their distinctive voice, and continued to celebrate inclusivity during a pivotal cultural moment.”

Jonah Musitano, Senior Manager Integrated Media Strategy & Planning, previously Paramount+

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