All the nominees in the 2023 Oscar get a swag bag whether they win the Academy honours or not. The bag has a diverse array of goodies varying from small businesses to world-renowned brands.
A Los Angels based marketing company Distinctive Assets has been distributing gift bags to Oscar nominees since 2002 but is unaffiliated with the Academy.
The ‘Everyone wins’ gift bags are estimated to be worth a whopping $1,26,000 this year.
This year the bag has over 60 items and is filled with several beauty and lifestyle gifts, it has tickets for luxury vacations that include a $40,000 getaway to a Canadian estate named ‘The Lifestyle’. It also includes a stay for eight people including friends and relatives in an Italian lighthouse.
The gift also has a symbolic souvenir for a piece of land in Queensland, Australia.
The gift bag also includes a $25,000 coupon for project management and a home restoration fee from Maison construction. There are coupons for lipo arm sculpting, facelift, and hair restoration services.
There will be a Havaianas suitcase this year to deliver the gifts and 50 per cent of the products reportedly come from companies that are women and minority-owned.
The gift packs will have skin care products from Miage, a silk pillowcase from Blush Silks, a travel pillow from PETA, and products from Ariadne Athens Skin Wellness, Daily Energy Cards, Kind Reason Co, Rarete Studios, ReFa, Proflexa, Oxygenetix and many others.
The gift pack that comprises of least expensive gifts include a pack of Clif Thins priced at $13.56 and $18 loaf of Japanese milk bread from Ginza Nishikawa.
Even as the products and services in the bag come for free, the recipient will have to pay taxes for it as it is considered as an income.
Interestingly the company Distinctive Assets had a direct confrontation with the Academy awards committee in 2016 when the gift bag had marijuana vape pens, sex toys and a vampire breast lift. The Academy does not want to link with it and hence Distinctive Assets can no longer use the trademark of the Academy.
Another controversy of 2016 was that it included a gift hamper for a $55,000 vacation to Israel that come from the Israel tourism ministry and the travel company ExploreIsrael.com. Several organisations came out against this which include Jewish Voice For Peace, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.
It may be noted that the 2020 gift bag is rated as the most expensive and is estimated at $225,000. The gifts included a 24K gold Royal Charka bath bomb, a 24K gold vape pen from Hollowtips and a $20,000 one year membership to a matchmaking service.