Monday, February 23, 2015

Most Expensive Goody Bags

Many of us watched the Oscars Sunday night. Besides the typical best and worst dressed gossip, the Oscar goody bags also took the spotlight. These goody bags are given to the “losers” and are called “Everybody Wins at the Oscars Nominee Gift Bag”. This year the gifts were worth approximately $160,000 including gifts of herbal tea lollipops, personal fitness sessions, head-support pillows, liposuction, car rentals, a visit from a psychic ($20,000), and much more. The immense worth of the goody bags has shocked many this year. The gifts seem a bit excessive in my opinion, especially because many of the stars want to send images as philanthropists or were calling for equal pay. It seems hypocritical. I am sure that many would rather see the money spent on the gift bags sent to philanthropic organizations or to people in need. However, there is also the business point of view. Many businesses want their products to be promoted by celebrities to encourage growth in their businesses. Several of these businesses are new and this publicity will help them get awareness through this marketing tool.

Do you approve of the goody bags?
Do you think the money should go to a “good cause” or to the stars?
What do you think of the business/marketing aspect?


Valerie Chen said...

I think that the goody bags seem like a waste of money, but then again, the Oscars have been used as a way of promoting brand names and businesses for a long time. I doubt anyone spent actual money on those bags; nominees were given these gifts as a way of promoting products in the same way that powerhouse fashion labels dress celebrities for free to get their name out. It's a smart marketing strategy, and Hollywood, as an institution, completely relies on it. I don't think it'll go away soon. However, I like the growing trend where celebrities are using their star power to promote good causes (even if it's a kind of self-centered altruism).

Karen Chow said...

I don't think the goody bags are necessary for the Oscars award show, and it seems like the Academy of Motion Picture of Arts and Sciences behind it agrees. In 2006, it voted to end the gift-giving practice, but separate companies continued to supply the gift bags, courtesy of Distinctive Assets this year. One reason for the discontinuation could be that the Academy and IRS had reached an agreement to consider the value of the gifts as income. Thus, any celebrities who accept the "free" bags will be taxed for them. Even with the added taxes, it doesn't seem like the popularity of the free gift bags will be falling any time soon, as the value of the 2015 Oscars goody bag is double that of 2014, and will likely rise each year.
I think it's pretty good marketing, for the stars who actually want the products decide to accept the gift bags, and those who don't can reject them. The goods won't be wasted, and can even be donated to charities, so celebrities can still show their philanthropic side, if they so wish. Either way. the recipients will still have to pay the tax, which could act as motivation to use the products, helping the companies advertising in the end.

Murray Sandmeyer said...

The goodie bags are a great way for companies to get extreme publicity while simultaneously facilitating the growth of their product's "taste" (The T in TRIBE).

Plus, how else will Leonardo Dicaprio receive some form of reward for his hard work?