(This March 24 story corrects name of spot remover in last paragraph to Jayde from Jade)
(Reuters) – For the 20th year, marketing firm Distinctive Assets is independently presenting the top acting and directing Oscar nominees with a gift bag — this year worth $138,000.
Although each star could probably afford the items, Lash Fary, the firm’s founder, said that’s not the point. It’s an acknowledgment of an amazing performance and it’s about business. And after two decades of gifting, Fary said the process of obtaining items has become easier.
“In the beginning, it was convincing brands that this made sense to give the rich and famous free stuff. Now everyone knows why it makes sense,” Fary said. “They are doing it because these are the best brand ambassadors in the world.”
However, the exposure doesn’t come cheap.
“They have to also be able to afford the fee that it takes to be a part of this gift bag, which starts at $4,000, that can go up to $50,000 depending on sponsorship level,” Fary explained.
There are roughly 52 items ranging from Opopop popcorn, cookies, Qai Qai the doll and a plot of land from Highland Titles that will make the recipient a Lord or Lady of Glencoe.
The most expensive element is a stay at Turin Castle in Scotland which includes butler service, scotch tasting and a bagpipe ceremony upon arrival.
Health and wellness products are a big theme this year with sleep aids, CBD skincare potions and a meal prep service for nominees.
The bag of fun also contains practical items.
“It’s not just about the glitz and glamour. We also have a $9 dollar spot remover from Jayde Home Essentials, all natural, totally clean,” Fary said.
(Reporting by Sandra Stojanovic and Alicia Powell; Writing by Mark Porter; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)