Some Oscar-night traditions haven’t been marred by the coronavirus pandemic.
Celebrities attending Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony will still win big, even if they don’t take home an award, since all nominees will receive gift bags containing a variety of luxurious items and services reportedly worth $205,000 apiece — a combined value of $5.1 million.
The gift bags will contain free liposuction, designer skin creams, gold-plated cannabis vaporizers, “affirmation candles,” vegan bubble bath, IV vitamin infusions, a getaway to French Polynesia, and more, according to a report by New York Times.
The swag bags for the 25 acting and directing nominees are offered by the entertainment marketing firm Distinctive Assets. Another company in Hollywood’s giveaway economy, GBK Brand Bar, is offering a gift bag worth $60,000.
The gifting operation, DPA Group, reportedly has vacations at Le Taha’a Island Resort in French Polynesia, among other luxuries, to give away.
“It should give all our nominees some good vibes and the hope of a return to normalcy soon,” said Nathalie Dubois, chief executive of DPA Group.
And it is understood that in return, the company or brand providing the free gift would appreciate a tweet or Instagram post by the celebrity.
“Everybody has been suffering the past year,” Dubois reportedly wrote in a letter to nominees. “Some of these companies are really looking to gift you their products and getting some promotion.”
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Distinctive Assets founder Lash Fary added that anyone scoffing over the gift bags “should sign up for a marketing class.”
Fary added that all items in his gift bags came from companies that “embrace diversity, inclusion, health, and philanthropy.”
“So all of the bags that we’ve been doing have been from female-owned businesses, black-owned businesses, disabled entrepreneurs and companies who give back — even ones that you wouldn’t necessarily think give back,” Fary told Forbes.
There’s also what Forbes described as a “Covid-safe get-away three-night trip at the Pater Noster Lighthouse on the island of Hamneskär on the west coast of Sweden,” where a nine-room boutique hotel is located. “It doesn’t get much more socially distant than that,” Fary said.
This year, one of Fary’s “more modest giveaways,” according to the New York Times, is “an emergency hammer” the that celebrities can use to break a car window if see a dog inside a vehicle on a hot day.
The report added that nominees can decline the gift bags, and that the items are not completely “free,” as the I.R.S. considers the gift bags income.
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