Coke's Super Bowl Ad Cops Out By De-Gaying Priscilla Queen Of The Desert

By Katey Rich 2013-02-04 15:44:06discussion comments
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Movie geeks with their eyes peeled for new trailers during the Super Bowl were probably thrilled to see what, at first, looked like some kind of mashup of a Western and Lawrence of Arabia. There was the man with the camel and the white headdress, there were the men with their wide-brimmed hats… and hey look, there were a bunch of post-apocalyptic bikers, straight out of Mad Max! When the big pink bus showed up on the horizon I'm sure many of us thought it was going to be the Priscilla, Queen of the Desert shootout… but nope. Take a look below.



In an ad that clearly referenced four of history's most famous movies set in deserts (well, three movies and a generic Western), Coke went very authentic with three of them, then blinked and change the drag queens of Priscilla to more conventional showgirls. As Queerty points out, in an ironic twist, the showgirls actually won the user-based poll of who should win the race-- indicating that most voters either didn't know the girls weren't from an actual movie, or didn't care and just went for the chicks with the most amazing legs this side of Beyonce.

Sure, the inclusion of the generic group of cowboys also violated the idea that these were specific movie references, but come on. When you see a pink, outlandish bus in the middle of a desert, there's nothing else to think of except Priscilla. And it's not like that movie is just some forgotten cult item-- it's been running as a jukebox musical on Broadway and in Sydney, London, Toronto, Sao Paulo and on several national tours. The only reason to leave the drag queens of out a Priscilla reference is pretty obvious: this is the Super Bowl, and the only room for men in dresses is in goofy Super Bowl commercials.

For the glamorous drag queens we missed out on last night-- and performances from Terence Stamp, Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce that are always worth revisiting-- check out this clip from the film. Too bad Coke couldn't get on board with that much drag queen greatness.


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